11 Pages

New patterns in leisure

The latter has become a major national talking point in Britain, which was the last country in Europe to introduce one, in November 1994. As a social and cultural phenomenon it is especially interesting. It generates comment in the media, between politicians and among people in general. It has brought a whole new clientele into gambling. Tickets are sold through newsagents and Post Offices – where everybody goes – whereas other forms of gambling such as on horse racing are contained within betting shops where passers-by may not even see in through the windows and where the family is virtually excluded. Many people, once a year, will place a bet on the Grand National or the Derby, but with the Lottery, and its sequel ‘Instants’ scratchcards, everyone has a ‘flutter’ (a bet) week by week.