ON my 18th birthday I went into a betting shop just off Regent Street, London, to take advantage of my new legal ability to place a bet.

I asked a very friendly Irish gentleman for advice on what I had to do, and after some discussion settled on a Super Yankee.

I saw him wince when I picked out the names of horses that I liked the sound of, but noticed that he wrote them down. In the event all the horses came in and I won enough to buy myself a Triumph Bonneville motorbike.

At the time I decided that as I was ‘up’ I would never place another bet, and I have by and large stuck to this.

I am reminded of this by texts I am receiving on my mobile advising me of bets I can place with Ladbrokes. I have never subscribed to these texts and note that I can text a number to remove myself from them, which will no doubt take money off my credit if I do so.

In view of the fact that so many people are addicted to gambling, I wonder just why the Government allows them to advertise in this way.

One thing is for sure, should I ever feel the need to place a bet again, it will not be in a Ladbrokes betting shop.

ALAN KEBBELL, Southampton.