The Association of British Bookmakers says the overall number of betting shops has remained constant over the past 10 years at around 8, but the locations have shifted, with more of a concentration now on urban high streets.
Even those who are winning say they would like to see the machines disappear. His playing style is relatively slow and cautious.
He finds 10p unclaimed on a machine, so he prints out a receipt, cashes it in with the manager and stakes a final 10p on roulette. By early afternoon there is a friendly gathering of four men, talking and watching the races.
I replied that I had struggled all through raising my kids to control my temper. A few of the bottles escaped unscathed and a couple of them are in the center of the picture, bottoms up, just as they once were many years ago.
It bought back a mixture of memories, some good, and some bad. The young ones wouldn't take the time to look at the form. In between races they laugh at each other "That man, he'd bet on anything, he'd bet on two snails"they talk about the news, and discuss the gay marriage vote. They're not all going to know him.
In between I have stacked a few of the Christmas tree bottles with the bottoms showing the plants where they had come from. People wouldn't believe you, would they? Tony Harris, 70, a retired potato salesman, comes every day when his legs feel strong enough for the bus ride. He could go somewhere else and do the same. It doesn't sink in straight away, maybe only an hour or two later when you go home," he says.
The government is uncertain how dangerous the machines are, stating in a review published last month that there was "no clear evidence" to prove whether the machines "had any significant effect on the level of problem gambling in Britain".
It's only for mugs. He points to the complex, small-print daily racing information pinned to the noticeboards as partial explanation, suggesting the cultural knowledge and linguistic ability required to follow horses, jockeys and trainers could be beyond a lot of his customers.
Graeme Robertson A number of punters using the machines in the Roar betting outlet agree. On Saturday mornings he and his cronies used to gather around the Coke machine, next to the stacks of crates that contained the empty bottles. I think they should be banned.