BBC Learning English 英语教学

Trying your luck 试试你的运气

Have you ever placed a bet?

Vocabulary: gambling 词汇: 赌博

Have you ever had a punt? I was brought up to believe that you make your own luck but I admit that I buy the occasional lottery ticket.


I have won a million pounds but only in my dreams. The odds are high and the money I spend on tickets is worth it for a few moments wondering: If I were to win, how fast would I quit my job? Where would my big house with a swimming pool be? And what countries would I visit?

Here in Britain, a bet bought me more than a few hours of day dreaming. It happened when I bet on a horse taking part in the Grand National. This race, which started in the 1830s, takes place every spring. Many people get involved. Even people like me, whose knowledge of horses doesn't go further than knowing they are big and have four legs.

I went into a betting shop in London with a friend and we chose a horse from a list. They had funny names like 'Rare Bob' and 'On His Own'. For the same price as a light lunch, we pinned our hopes on a horse and joined a group of punters by a big TV. We watched the race with them and cheered together - gamblers united! But Lady Luck was nowhere to be seen. Our horse came in third place.

The voice of reason says: Never bet what you can't afford to lose. Some people are addicted to gambling and while casinos are big business in some countries, they are banned in others.

Betting shops have their place in the streets of Britain as much as pubs and tea houses, but in some areas there are new ones appearing every day. Gambling companies want to profit from electronic terminals for fruit machines and roulette.

The authorities in Newham and Haringey in London have been trying to control the number of shops, especially in poorer areas with high levels of unemployment.

I hold on to the money in my pocket. Life is already too much of a gamble.

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