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Alex Macey estimates he threw away £250,000. Some of this went on sports betting, but the great majority was lost on Macey’s particular vices: fast, high-stakes fruit machines known as “Fixed Odds Betting Terminals”, and the rest on online casino games. “It’s losing yourself in the excitement of the moment, the moment when you’ve pressed the button and don’t know what’s going to happen,” he says. “It gives you the emotions and the dopamine fixes you are not getting in your normal life. So you want to hit that button again and again.” Gambling had once been largely episodic . Now it became continuous — and more dangerous because of its propensity to encourage loss-chasing.The future of the market depends on politicians.