29th April, 2011 at 03:27:33
May Day also marks the 50th anniversary of legalised UK betting shops
Stan Hey, a writer for The Independent newspaper in the UK, marked an important betting anniversary this week in an informative and amusing article on the legalisation of British betting shops fifty years ago.
The article is replete with funny anecdotes from Hey's childhood experiences with his father, who seems to have been quite a character, illustrating the difficulties of laying a bet prior to the legalisation of betting shops in the 'fifties under the Macmillan government, which introduced the Betting & Gaming Act, changing the face of UK gambling.
The article covers the evolution of small and dingy betting shops to today's offerings, and importantly talks about the development of online betting and its impact on the business over the past decade or more.
"Online gaming bingo, poker, blackjack is flourishing while betting directly on book-makers' websites is certainly the fastest way to "get on". Indeed there is a generation of younger punters who have never been inside a betting shop and simply conduct their business by computer or mobile phone," writes Hey.
"Newish boys, such as Irish firm Paddy Power
, make about 50% of their multimillion pound profits from online betting but their shop business is holding up well.
"One bookmaker, the Millfield educated Victor Chandler, sold his 41 betting shops in 2006 in order to concentrate on the worldwide passion for on-line gaming. He has kept open a luxury betting lounge in Mayfair air-conditioning, leather sofas, designer snacks for his high-roller clients and one in Dublin, but clearly sees a tax-haven base and cyberspace betting as the future. With the Tote
, the government-owned pool-betting operation, soon to be sold off, there may be further changes in a once-constant ecology.
The article is well worth the read, and can be found here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/a-gamble-that-paid-off-fifty-years-on-betting-shops-are-glossy-recessionbusting-businesses-2276268.html
Related News Tags: Bookmakers, Paddy Power