Andrew Williams writes for Manchester universities’ The Mancunion on the increased prevalence of student gambling:
One autumnal Saturday, around three years ago, I joined a couple of flatmates in making the short trip from our Richmond Park halls to William Hill in Fallowfield. My friends were keen to place a few small accumulators on the afternoon’s football in a bid to spice up the day’s action; the biggest games of that weekend were taking place on Sunday, so a small financial stake in the day’s 3 o’clock kick offs would make those less illustrious fixtures that little bit more entertaining.
Having turned 18 just six weeks previously – my late August birthday making me the ‘baby’ of our year group – I had never really been given the opportunity to gamble. The lackadaisical attitude of certain football stadium bookmakers had enabled my underage self to stake the odd quid here and there, but this was the first time I had set foot in a traditional bookies. To my slight surprise, we weren’t the only ones looking to win big that afternoon.
With around half an hour to go until kick off, the shop was packed to the rafters with people – an overwhelming majority of whom appeared to be students – poised to compile their accumulators with bright blue, cigarette-sized pens hovering anxiously over a comprehensive list of the days’ football fixtures. After much agonising, most would attempt to justify their final selections to friends via commonplace platitudes; ‘I mean they really should all win – on paper’. At around 2.45, scores of testosterone-fuelled students began to drift back towards Owens Park clutching a hopeful wodge of betting slips. ‘I’ve got a good feeling about this’, would be the typical ante-triumphal cry…
Full article here.