The traditional High Street bookies has become something of a British institution over the years, with many boasting their own loyal army of regular customers who love nothing more than a flutter on the horses and a chat with the staff. However, the recent heatwave that the UK experienced has highlighted the need for some bookies to follow the industry leaders and invest more time and money in their online offerings.
Some UK bookmakers reported a sharp drop in visitor numbers during the unusually hot weather that was seen recently across the country, and this is certain to have a damaging effect on profits. Regulars who would have normally made their way down to their local bookies were staying indoors in the cool, leaving some betting shops feeling the financial pinch.
There is little doubt that serious fans of horse racing and other sports would have been perfectly happy to get online and place their bets from the cool comfort of their own homes. However, some bookmakers, both smaller and larger ones, have not yet built up their online businesses to any great degree, which means that many racing fans may have turned to other betting sites where the facilities were freely available.
Popularity of placing bets online
Sports betting such as horse racing continues to be hugely popular today, just as it has been for many years. People still flock to bookies to place their bets and turn to specialist sites such as Brians Betting for tips and advice on racing services such as Premier Information. However, in this digital age more and more people are turning to the Internet to enjoy having a flutter. Under unusual circumstances such as the heatwave even die-hard bricks and mortar fans will turn to the internet in order to avoid missing out on their dead cert. However, the betting shops that have not yet sufficiently embraced the digital age risk missing out on the custom of this ever-expanding group of racing and betting enthusiasts.
In a recent report, one of the larger bookmaker chains in the UK, Ladbrokes, confirmed that the heatwave had resulted in a 15 percent reduction in the number of customers coming into the shops. Many of those who would normally have been in to put a bet on during the day stayed away because of the heat, and because Ladbrokes has not really invested a great deal in its online presence as yet it may have lost a huge number of its racing and betting fans to rival bookies with better, more exciting online facilities.
A move into the digital age is equally as important for smaller, independent bookies, as they otherwise risk being trampled on by the big boys of the industry.