Physical betting shops closing as online casinos thrive

The state of the British high street is a subject that’s discussed frequently in the news and among the general public. The changes that have taken place over the last few decades cannot go unnoticed, famous names have disappeared, replaced with empty retail units and coffee shops.

Aside from chains like Starbucks and Costa, another industry managed to thrive over the last decade. Betting shops actually increased in numbers between 2010 and 2014, though they have begun to slowly decrease again.

betting shopsAs of March 2019, physical premises operated by bookmakers was on par with the numbers we saw in 2009. In comparison, bank branches decreased by around 30% in that same time. Between 2015 and 2017, almost every major bank in the UK closed more branches each, than the entire number of betting shops closed by the bookmaking industry in the same period.

Chaning tides

This is likely to change though in the coming years. In Late 2019, This Is Money reported that four betting shops were close each day. This has continued into 2020, with several of the biggest brands announcing hundreds of closures.

At the same time, some of these brands are reporting growth of 15-20% in their online operations. This is driven partly by changing habits in the UK and by increased demand in the US thanks to the gradual legalisation of online sports betting and casinos in the country.

Online casino sites thriving

More and more consumers are turning to sites like Betsson Casino online to play classic table games and video slots. Part of the reason behind this trend is that online casinos offer a wider selection of games and wagering options while betting shops only typically offer a small selection of “fixed-odds betting terminals” in addition to their traditional sports betting.

In recent years, the UK government has placed restrictions on the maximum individual bets that a person can make through one of these terminals, making them less attractive compared to online games. One of the most popular ways to combat this kind of restrictions is sites not on Gamstop, which allowed players to have unlimited opportunities in both betting and casino games.

Additionally, online casinos are generally more convenient for users. Provided the player has an internet connection and a computer or smartphone, they can enjoy their favourite games at any time of the day, no matter where they are.

Mobile sports betting

Just like online casinos, betting on sports over the internet is typically more convenient too. Fans of sports like football, horse racing and tennis can now bet from home or while watching the game in person through mobile apps.

This makes it much easier for fans to place bets during a game and take advantage of features like cashing out a bet early to lock in some of their winnings.

According to one study, around 75% of all football fans have placed a bet on the game at least once. With this popularity, it’s no surprise that bookmakers have invested heavily in promoting their betting apps to football fans through TV ads during games and sponsorship of teams.

Research has also shown that sports betting customers often also play online casino games offered by the brand. This is something that physical betting shops can’t match, making them less attractive to customers.