Betting Shops - UK - April 2015
“Betting shops need to address some significant gaps in their customers’ sporting knowledge as a pre-requisite for the revival of horseracing.”
– David Walmsley, Senior Leisure Analyst
This report answers the following questions:
- Has betting on horses run its race?
- Is the World Cup still a winner for betting shops?
- What’s the next step in the march of the machines?
Despite the continuing rise of online gambling alternatives, betting shops continue to attract around £3 billion in consumer expenditure each year. However, the business has become increasingly reliant on its gaming machine segment to support shrinking over-the-counter trade, where football betting growth is not fully compensating for the long-term decline in horseracing. With the machine boom now threatened by tougher taxation and regulation regimes, betting shops may need to find new means of expansion, or even just of standing still.
This report examines consumers’ experience of betting shopsand multichannel gambling, gauges their attitudes towards the key products of horseracing and gaming machines, and assesses how operators can respond to the opportunities and challenges emerging.
Consumer expenditure in betting shops has become effectively flat as a consequence of decline in the horseracing-dominated OTC segment being balanced out by slowing growth in gaming machine revenues.
Operators continue to put all their OTC eggs in the expanding football betting basket, but are now also looking at diversifying their machine offer away from the controversial B2 products that are increasingly-heavily taxed and a potential target for tighter regulation under the next Government.
However, the single most important influence on the future of the industry could be the choice punters make between the two visions now on offer – an ‘omnichannel’ future in which shop and online experiences become identical and interchangeable, or a differentiated one in which the shop presents a far more participatory, social and experiential offer that stands alone on its own merits.
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