Come Sunday afternoon, most of the UK’s population will still be partying as they get their heads around another public holiday on Monday. If anything, the Royal Wedding weekend will do the breweries across the land a power of good. There’s one British institution that will be largely forgotten amongst all this though.
This Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the betting shop. Even since the smoking ban and advancement of the iGaming industry in the UK, bookmakers still managed to survive largely unscathed. They still retain the characters you’ve come to expect and the stale smell of smoke and cheap beer is still evident.
In a number of areas, betting shops are the centre of the community and the rows surrounding the amount of shops in some communities only goes to show their continued popularity.
To coincide with the 50th year passing since betting shops were introduced, the Independent’s Stan Hey penned an article over at their site giving an in-depth look at the land-based sports betting sector and the effect it’s had on the industry.
In the article it quotes Labour MP Woodrow Wyatt, who in the 1960s said that “Betting, particularly on racehorses, is a great force for good. For millions, placing a bet is the only democratic decision that they make regularly on their own responsibility. In the factory or the office their routine tasks are allotted to them to be performed with little personal initiative or discretion. Dehumanising fetters the mind and lowers the spirits of the average wage-earner. Placing a bet restores his independence and stimulates his brain.”
Hey’s scribing also looks at Victor Chandler and his journey from offline to online and on the 50th anniversary of the bookies shop it is well worth a read. It will be interesting to see where iGaming might be in 50 years time when we’re all living in zorbs on Mars and getting drunk off moon-cheese-juice.