I read a book recently in which a character states “You never see a millionaire feeding a slot machine.”

In the last two days I’ve visited dozens of betting shops and I can only agree with the statement.

In the city centre and in Possilpark and then Springburn I watched as punters, almost all men, fed notes into the machines.

Inside the shops the players are perched on the high stools and cash is inserted. On one machine the player’s stake sits at £50 and that and the credit total is going up and down rapidly with each spin. I can’t keep up.

On another the player mutters under his breath as he bets red and the ball lands on black.

The eyes remain fixed on the screen and the only activity is the player’s right hand choosing the bet and repeatedly pressing play.

There are no signs of joy when a bet comes good, just a quick press and onto the next spin.

In a betting shop in Saracen Street there seems to be a split between customers interested in the racing and those on the machines.

One customer has a few notes in his hand and slips the first tenner into the slot and he’s off.

Oblivious to all around him he places bet after bet on the roulette game.

Meanwhile a race is reaching its conclusion on the screens. The favourite wins and most of the half a dozen or so in the shop have backed the second favourite their displeasure is audible. There is a lull until the next race but none of them show any interest in the machines.

Meanwhile a customer has been locked out of the machine he was playing and must wait for staff to come.

He stands with a handful of £20 notes and after a few minutes gets fed up and moves to the only free machine.

I decided to see what the attraction was and have a go myself in the next shop.

I put £5 in and resolved to walk away if the winnings hit £10 or when the £5 stake is lost.

I lost more spins than I won and after little over five minutes my fiver was gone, never to be seen again.

There was no skill in the decision making, no anticipation as the virtual wheel spins on the screen. The determining factor is a computer system designed to ensure the machine takes in more than it pays out.

All I got was a sinking feeling that I had given away £5 to a huge corporation for nothing in return.