BUSINESS

Where next for the humble high-street Bookmaker?

TAGs: bookmakers, Ladbrokes, William Hill

It’s the age-old problems that the high street bookie suffers from – how do you attract customers from your competitor when everyone seems to offer similar odds? There’s not the problem online as the choice is as simple as typing in the address of your preferred site and it’s done, but there’s a real problem for high street bookies, for both smaller and larger ones, and this is exacerbated by the fact that five companies share 80% of the total market. Read more.\

What could the bookies do to make their gambling establishment more exciting, so that they, and not others, are reaping the rewards of the losing punters. I’m not talking about simply putting a couple more slot machines in the place, or installing a smoking area, these have got to be changes to attract a new clientelle, or at least hang on to the old boys. Here’s a few suggestions as to what they could do…

First off why haven’t they done the blindingly obvious and opened a bar inside a bookies? It really is a no-brainer. No offence to anyone that frequents a bookies, but most punters, including myself, enjoy a drink probably more than the next man, so why don’t Will Hill merge with Wetherspoons, or vice-versa? I for one would love it. £10 on the 3:15 at Kempton and a pint of Guinness to go with, a match made in heaven. It would also mean that punters would have stay in the place longer to finish their pint, and in the process bet more money.

Now if that didn’t take the bookies fancy then how about new racing orientated uniform for the staff. Seeing the guy behind the counter dressed up as John McCririck, and the female you’re always eyeing up wearing a skimpy jockey’s outfit to attract extra punters. It would truly set you aside from the competition, and if you encourage punters to dress the same way you could start to draw a new type of consumer.

Failing that then at least get some comfortable seating in to the bookies, which in a lot of cases is dilapidated and gives you piles. If one bookie prided itself on this type of seating people would again be more than likely to stay longer and hedge more money on horses. The bad side to this could be that as punters visiting betting shops tend to be of the older variety, nice sofa like seating will ultimately result in your customers falling asleep in the newly installed seating. The solution? Install a buzzer that you can press when someone looks like they might be drifting off. Just you wait and see the reaction when that thing goes off. I think ‘laugh out loud’ would be an understatement.

There’s a few suggestions there then, and would it be so hard to just try them out for a short time bookies? I mean your fortunes aren’t the best at the moment, and any improvement would be a god-send I’m sure you’ll agree. However, if you’re going to go for any of them choose a combination of the pub and having females dressed in skimpy jockeys gear to serve drinks. I’m rubbing my legs in anticipation already!

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