The world of online betting has changed the way it’s managed. It’s not difficult to believe in saying that it has had a negative impact on bookmakers that are based in the high street however, with many of the smaller companies being purchased by bigger competitors.
While the numbers are definitely lower than they were at their highest, the high street has been relatively robust in the gaming sector in the past decade or more. Although some stores have shut down however this is the first time that in a long time , the industry has stabilized, and has at times seen periods of growth in the past five years or more.
The most significant difference we’ve observed is the fact that there are less brands to select from. As you can see from this list, vast majority of the 843 brick and mortar bookmakers that are on the high streets of Britain are now owned by only five brands.
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This is our list of the most popular high-street brands that are in the market at the moment.
William Hill – 2,200 Shops
William Hill is one of the most well-known brands of betting in the world of gambling. The first time they opened their doors was in 1934 and since then, they have continued to achieve huge success in as well as the traditional high-street as well as the online market.
Most of the workforce of 16,000+ work in betting shops, and make up the huge revenue of PS1.6 billion that is produced each year.
The company has been in the hands of different owners several times in the past and is among the bookmakers with the highest investment that the industry has ever seen.
The first takeover was in 1971, the year that Sears Holdings first got involved. Other takeovers include those of the Grand Metropolitan in 1988 and the Brent Walker in 1989. Since then, they have bought and sold several areas of their business, such as greyhound racing, gambling shops, and software companiesto mention only a handful of.
The company has also been among the loudest in the wake of the new rules governing FOBTs. They have stated that they may see more than 25 percent of their betting stores shut down, which could mean the loss of more than 7,000 jobs.
Ladbrokes 1 800 Shops
Ladbrokes is another brand that has been a staple in our high streets for a long time today. They’re the longest-running bookshop within the UK and first came into existence in 1896, a long time before the advent of high-street bookselling became legal in the year 1961.
The company is now component of GVC Holdings, who bought the Ladbrokes Coral brand not long after the two bookmakers joined in a deal that was at first worth PS2.3 billion. GVC then made a payment of PS4 billion to acquire Ladbrokes Coral. Ladbrokes Coral group along with the assets associated with it in the largest ever gambling transaction.
It is important to note that Coral as well as Ladbrokes operate as distinct brands on the high streets however they are in essence part of the same business. This implies the GVC Holdings are technically the largest company on the high street, with more than 3,300 betting outlets in the industry.
Ladbrokes are likely to be the biggest pioneers of bookmaking on the high street as they were among the very first to begin pushing the idea with regards to numbers. Six years after the introduction of high-street betting legally legal within the UK they were able to open more than 100 betting stores, which is more than times more than the average brand. In the end, they were the first company to be listed on the stock exchange , and have become known worldwide as one of the largest betting companies in the world.
Coral – 1,500
Coral was founded in 1926, and was established from a tiny London-based office. They enjoyed a huge following, even in their early days and were focused on making sure they provided the highest possible product at the lowest possible cost for their customers.
They controlled a large portion of the racetracks and dog track in the UK for a long time, but began their first high street betting shop in the year 1961. Within a short period of time, Joe Coral (formerly Joseph Kagarlitsky) was able to open 26 betting establishments in the UK and pushed them to be one of the largest in the world at the time.
The year 2005 was the time that Coral purchased the Gala brand, which set their company value at around PS2.1 billion. The merger with Ladbrokes about a decade after that meant they were capable of advancing yet again. As with Ladbrokes they are now a component of GVC Holdings’ empire.
Their presence on the high street is one that’s some uncertainty than the majority. There is a chance that a reshuffle inside GVC Holdings will mean that some of the stores will shift to concentrate upon one brand, which could make the Coral brand at risk going forward.
However, at the moment it’s just speculation and they are one of the most prominent brands on the high streets at the moment.
Betfred – 1,600
Fred Done founded Betfred in 1967, and remains very involved in the business even to this day. In a business that is undergoing mergers and acquisitions frequently, Betfred are still owned and run by Done and speaks volumes about the underlying principles behind the brand.
The high streets have been very accommodating to Betfred, which allowed them to be more open after winning a the bet of their own on England to be victorious in at the 1966 World Cup. They enjoyed huge success in the local dog and horse race tracks, however it was on the main street, first in their home town of Salford in the UK, that Done could grow their Betfred brand.
In the end, Betfred has one of the largest selections of shops on the high street in the business. Their success is due to the company’s ability to develop game-changing betting markets like Lucky 15, Goals Galore, as well as Double Delight.
One of the most significant moves in the history of the company was the purchase of Tote in the year 2011. After a lengthy process that included many months of bidding on this contract with the federal government, they selected Betfred as the bookmaker to move the business forward for the amount of PS265 million and a portion of the money going to the government as well as to the racetrack.
What’s fascinating concerning Betfred is that they’re one of the few businesses looking to grow into the high-street. It’s evident that Done has come up with a formula that is loved by punters, and they appear to be one of the most reliable brands in an era of uncertainty.
Paddy Power – 660 Shops
Paddy Power are one of the largest and most valuable exports out of Ireland that the gambling industry has ever seen. They currently have one of the smallest selection of shops on our list, however they also have a massive presence in their home country of Ireland.
The company has experienced increased growth since the majority of bookmakers have switched to online betting. The main street has been generally kind towards Paddy Power, and where the FOBTs that were severely restricted within the UK have been affecting other bookies however, they’ve been barred from Irish betting shops, which means that Paddy Power won’t feel the pain in the same as UK only bookmakers will.
In reality, there are more Paddy Power shops is on increasing, from just 350 in 2010 to more than 600 in the present.
The merger of their company together with Betfair in 2016 made them the largest bookmaker by turnover and is now worth an astounding PS10 billion due to the merger.
Boylesports – 300 Shops
Boylesports is among the most intriguing bookshops currently. They are among the largest independent bookmakers in Ireland and have a significant market presence on the high streets with over 250 betting stores.
However, they made headlines in the year 2019 when, just months after the industry restricted FOBTs and bookmakers were discussing closings, BoyleSports stated they would be making their debut in to the UK market. The first acquisition they made was of 13 stores under the Wilf Gilbert brand, however they was hoping to see this number exceed 100 at the end of 2020.
The company failed an attempt to acquire 400 stores out of the aftermath of the merger between Ladbrokes and Coral, after which they were compelled by the law of market monopoly compliance to offer sales on a few of their stores, however new opportunities have emerged.
It will be fascinating to find out whether Boylesports will be able to buck the trend of declining sales in betting shops on the high street and bring new life to the betting industry.