Who can resist a flutter? Me, I thought. But the occult glamour of gambling got me in the end
• Dreda Say Mitchell is a crime novelist
There was a personal first for me last week. I’d like to be able to claim it was something exceptional, like running a marathon, but unfortunately it involved going into a high-street bookies and placing a bet.
I’ve always had a dim view of gambling. It’s probably to do with the tragic men I recall from my childhood who blew what little money they had on horses and dogs. It seems my attitude is widely shared. According to a Gambling Commission poll, the number of people who think the activity should be positively discouraged has risen from 36% in 2010 to 55% in 2016. But despite the fact that we know the house always wins in the end, millions of us are still up for a punt.