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Gambling has long been considered a vice to society, and, rightly so. The idea that you can go out and win yourself a small fortune is a seductive one. Yet as the old saying goes, “There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune: go there with a large one.” Indeed, gambling is not an art, it is a science. Odds are formulated to always favor the house, so anyone who bets for long enough will always return home a loser.

Today gambling seems more a part of our society than ever before. Whereas betting used to be confined to the racetrack and casino, usually on weekends, it is now everywhere and accessible at all times of the day. Nowhere is this more visible than in your local betting shop, which has become the most visible form of gambling today.

Men watch the horse races at a betting shop in Tottenham to see whether their bets will pay off.

Men watch a wall of screens at a betting shop in Tottenham, showing everything from horse and dog racing to football matches.

A man carefully analyzes the odds on each horse before placing his bet on the horse he thinks might win.

Newspapers show the odds on the horses in each race to take place that day.

Crumpled up ticket stubs, from lost bets, litter the tables and floors.

A betting shop employee sits behind thick glass to separate them angry customers and anybody who might want to rob them.

Gamblers place bets at a real greyhound racing stadium, one of the last in London, near Wimbledon. Attendance at actual events has decreased drastically in recent decades, as more and more people make their bets in betting shops instead.

A spectator watches greyhounds run by at a stadium in Wimbledon, London.

Greyhounds cross the finish line at a race in Wimbledon, London.