Michael Cain of Salford University set up his degree in business economics with gambling studies three years ago "because a consortium of people from the gambling industry came to see us and explained that they wanted to recruit graduates. I'm a mathematician and I teach the theory of bookmaking and betting," he explains.
"We study gambling from an academic viewpoint. Most of the course comprises business economics, but there are also lectures on the psychology and sociology of gambling and the effect of gambling on society as well as sessions on government regulation of the industry. Two visiting experts from Las Vegas come over to give lectures as well."
Cain, who used to teach mathematics and statistics at Aberystwyth, says he is appalled at the emphasis on gambling in lotteries in everyday life:
"People need educating about odds or they wouldn't do so much betting."
This is the first course of its kind outside America and one or two students benefit from a sponsorship scheme that the industry has set up but they all benefit from the outings to a casino, racecourse and greyhound stadium that Cain takes them to each year.