Will UK Betting Shops Survive With Regulations?
Once sports betting became legal in the United Kingdom in 1961 it was popular. This was when betting shops, bingo halls and casinos were established. Bets were previously placed through illegal bookmakers or at racetracks. This led to a boon in commercial real estate. By the 1960's there were 100 betting shops opening every week. During the 1970's there were approximately 16,000 betting shops in the United Kingdom. Today there are still over 9,000 in existence, not including any online betting sites. They are a large part of the United Kingdom's retail landscape. Last week this landscape was threatened.
The maximum amount for fixed odds betting terminals has been limited by new regulations. This will severely impact the profits of the bookmakers and shops may shut down. The firms in the United Kingdom are trying to balance this out with betting shops. The betting shops were very popular despite the fact the regulations tried to make certain they were not pleasant to visit. No signage was allowed, the windows were required to be blacked out and no indication was allowed to reveal what was happening inside. Televisions, radio and seating were also not allowed.
Everything began changing in 1986. Televisions and seating were allowed and the interiors became brighter. The betting shops are still considered somewhat seedy and unwelcoming. This is due to the large chains, frugality of costs and lack of human touches. The government of the United Kingdom passed new regulations due to the electronic gambling machines. These are a large part of the revenue of the bookmakers and a direct link to problem gambling. The current maximum staked by gamblers is £2 every 20 seconds. The maximum in the past was £100 every 20 seconds. This means many stores will become unprofitable and risk closing.
The estimate is 3,000 betting shops out of the 9,000 in the United Kingdom will face closure once their leases have expired. The more resilient stores are in tertiary and secondary locations because their rents are lower. The stores most likely to close are paying higher rents for prime streets. Two days prior to the decision of the government of the United Kingdom, a decision was passed by the Supreme Court. Individual states in the United States were provided with an option to make sports gambling legal. This caused an increase in the shares for the United Kingdom bookmakers. The United States illegal gambling sector is $80 to $380 billion and a new frontier for the United Kingdom.
This is all dependent on the legislation of each state. the foundation is in place for 32 states to legalize gambling within the next five years and fourteen may be ready in two. Nevada currently has 108 sports books. They intend to enter every state as soon as it becomes legal. The United States and the United Kingdom are both seeking recognition. The position of betting shops in the United States are likely to be very different from those in the United Kingdom. A lot of the sports books in Nevada owned by William Hill are attached to burger joints or bars to provide comfort.