The United Kingdom is a nation that is often thought to be synonymous with gambling. It is engrained in the culture, with most people who venture out to a pub on Saturday or Sunday placing a bet on sports, horse racing, pool or other games. With clever marketing from betting companies, revenues from this industry are at an all-time high. In addition, there has been an incredible expansion of betting shops throughout the country.
No matter where you visit in the UK, you are sure to see a betting shop at the nearest high street. For example, London’s Newham borough is home to 80 betting shops, with a record 18 shops on one street. If a pub, shop or restaurant happens to close down, there is about a 50% chance that the site will be converted into a gambling shop within 12 months.
The expansion is great for gamblers, who have never had an easier time getting to the nearest store and placing a bet. In fact, most shops have fixed odds betting terminals where games such as online poker, blackjack, roulette and slots can be played. This serves to recreate the casino experience in a small shop.
However, there are many people who do not approve of the UK’s enormous betting shop expansion in the past decade. A recent poll was completed by “New YouGov”, and the results were staggering. A huge 60% of the population believe that there should be a severe crackdown by the government on betting shops. Only 25% believe that the current regulations are acceptable, with 4% thinking that they are already too strict.
80% of people believe that there are too many betting shops on the high streets, and 75% believe that there should be a complete ban on betting ads on TV. While the public’s feelings are clear from this poll, it is also interesting to note that gambling is not a major issue for anyone. Only 1% of people said that a party’s proposed gambling regulation policy would influence their vote in the next regional or general elections.
Selective Expansion –
Critics of betting companies also believe that their expansion is selective, with poorer counties targeted as opposed to London’s most affluent boroughs. This opinion stems from the belief that poor people are more likely to spend their time in a betting shop.
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For a look at the results of the New YouGov poll on gambling, click here.