There is something quintessentially English about the crowds of bettors Martin Amis (b. 1973) shows us from the race tracks of southern England. The older men wear tweed jackets and caps, or fedoras and thick glasses, binoculars hanging around their necks. The younger ones shout, smoke and spill beer. They all clench potential winning tickets in their fists; every dog has its day. The tension can easily be read on the faces. Hope, anger, disappointment, and elation are all there. Women are also present, but this is definitely a masculine space.
Amis became fascinated with the races at an early age during regular visits to the tracks with his father. While he loved to watch the horses, it was the animated crowd that reeked of beer, cigars, and cigarettes that captivated him. The images presented in his book The Gamblers were taken over the course of over a decade at the race tracks of southern England, and they offer a tense and often-times humorous peek into the world of gambling.
The Gamblers by Martin Amis is published by RRB PhotoBooks on 30 April 2018. All images © Martin Amis courtesy RRB PhotoBooks