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Nothing like losing your weekly pay packet to the bookies to learn the hard lesson about gambling

Sir, I started work in the early 1960s and very often on pay day had to borrow my bus fare home because I had lost my wages in the bookies that afternoon. It proved an important lesson.


Rachel Sylvester (“Stop bombarding our kids with betting ads,” July 29) is on the ball questioning whether it is right for sports programmes watched by children to include commercials for betting that normalise and glamorise gambling. The flooding of most sports programmes with glossy ads has become the norm and will convince many youngsters that gambling is a soft touch. I didn’t need the ads as I was training to become a racing journalist. Fortunately, I learnt the hard way.

I even worked for bookmakers myself before I retired, and there is nothing wrong with betting in moderation, but I have to say the bookmakers’ easy access to so much exposure at peak viewing times is not healthy, particularly for the younger generation.

Tim Richards

Stillington, N Yorks