It’s not called a mug’s game for nothing.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals take millions of pounds from gamblers in Glasgow every year.

The statistics associated with these machines are staggering. For every betting shop in the city £156,000 disappears from the pockets of people looking for a quick cash windfall into the profits of the bookies.

And even when you win you lose.

When the amount of winnings re-staked before they are cashed out, is factored in, the losses racked up by punters in Glasgow hits £800m a year.

No wonder the bookmakers don’t want the government to impose stricter controls.

The clue is in the name of the machines, Fixed Odds. The odds are fixed so that the machine doesn’t pay out more than it takes in.

Roulette is the most popular type of machine.

But it is not like the live roulette table in a real life casino. The dice are already programmed to land on a number before it is thrown and the ball will land on a predetermined slot on the wheel every time.

Nothing is left to chance. The bookie doesn’t have a bad day when it comes to these machines.

There is no skill involved, no studying of form, no luck or chance involved just the staking of cash into a machine which is programmed ultimately to be in profit.

The betting industry says that jobs could be at risk if there is punitive action on FOBTs.

There is no doubt that betting shops in Glasgow provide work for many people, we have more than 800 of them, so they employ thousands of workers.

But weigh up the harm done by FOBTs where £300 can be staked in a minute and you can see how a gambler with a problem can blow their wages in the time it takes to count them.

Betting shops do have measures in place to spot and intervene with problem gamblers, and I’ve witnessed it and you can bar yourself from a shop.

No-one is suggesting we ban the machines and remove them from the betting shops altogether.

But limiting the amount of cash that can be staked and the speed of play would help reduce the financial losses they are responsible for.

FOBTs are just one of many products which are associated with problem gamblers is another argument put forward by the industry.

True, but that surely doesn’t mean we don’t try to take action to reduce harm. Then perhaps the other platforms can be looked at also.

There is an issue with where the machines are located. There is a disproportionate number of betting shops in areas with higher levels of deprivation.

The cash these machines are taking is coming from the communities and households where it can least afford to be taken.

It means more families in financial hardship and less cash spend on other businesses in the communities.

I have watched in betting shops as people feed the machine with cash.

I have watched people shout at the machine and become angry and aggressive. I have watched them go to the counter and get more change to return to try and win back their losses.

It is a soul destroying, joyless form of gambling and one we can do without.