What Will Happen to Betting Shops in the UK?
The future seems uncertain for betting shops and high-end bookmakers in the UK. While the online gambling industry grows around the world, as evidenced by the increasing number of online promotions, like the Resorts casino bonus code, the land-based betting has been getting hit repeatedly. So, what is the future for the betting shops and bookies?
The Number of Betting Shops
You would think that the economic stress and the political turmoil of the past few years would have made betting businesses more profitable and multiplying in the last few years, but you would be wrong. As it turns out, the number of betting shops has slowly been diminishing. In 2018, nearly 500 betting shops went out of business, which is the record low for the last 10 years. Still, there are still over 8,000 licensed betting parlors, so most of the bookmakers have apparently decided they weren’t going to stand for this.
The Online Competition
Let’s face it – it is much easier to run a business online, especially since the machines do most of the calculations anyway and you need to pay some brainiac for licensed software in order to provide your customers with decent odds while making a profit. Online betting has fewer restrictions and demands less manpower to produce the same or better results. It isn’t uncommon for the online betting sites to come up with much more appealing odds to a sporting event than betting parlors, simply because they have a global customer base. Advertising for online promotions is also much cheaper and more efficient than adverts in your local paper. The competition is fierce, to say the least.
One of the things that are responsible for the hit the betting houses took, and, arguably, the worst, is the limitation imposed on fixed-odds betting terminals, or FOBTs. These machines allow for automatic betting without the need for personal interaction – they work like slots, really. They also display the risks and payouts clearly, as demanded by the law.
In April, maximum stakes one could bet on these machines was cut down drastically, from £100 to £2. The reasoning from the persons responsible for the change was that the FOBTs were addictive and blight on society. High-end bookmakers, like William Hill, have reported millions lost to this regulation and announced the closing of several hundred betting shops. As it stands, relocating the base of operations to a country with more favourable regulations might be an option for some bookies. We might see an even bigger decline in the number of betting shops in the following years.
This is a bad time to be a high-end bookmaker in the UK. The following couple of years will likely either put a few companies out of business or drive them out of the country entirely. Those with online branches will definitely survive, but they will need to go through several adaption stages before minimizing their losses.
The number of betting shops in the UK continues to fall and, unless some proper legislation is introduced, we may be looking at the beginning of the end of land-based sports betting in the UK. One could always download an app and bet from home. However, that’s hardly the same, is it?