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UK betting shops have been able to reopen their doors again recently, having spent much of the past year shut down as a result of lockdown conditions imposed by the global pandemic.
There are thousands of betting shops in the UK and they are a staple of high streets up and down the land, with brands like William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes all very common sights. All three of these sites are also featured in our top ten list of horse racing bookies, as well as the best sites for football betting.
While betting online has become a lot more popular in the last few years, for many people it is still preferable to physically visit a betting shop in order to place their chosen wagers.
Our guide to local UK betting shops will tell you everything that you need to know, so read on.
As there are currently over 8000 betting shops in the UK, you will find plenty of choices across the country. But, we have also listed the bookies near you by brand including Betfred, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Coral.
If you are not yet a customer at any of these betting sites, we recommend joining online to take advantage of the best sign up offers available. You will almost always find better value betting offers online compared to in-store bonuses.
Quickly find the closest bookie in your area using the interactive map below.
The number of betting shops in the UK has been slowly dropping in recent years as more and more people opt to place their sporting wagers online instead, resulting in quite a lot of closures, while the pandemic also led to companies opting to shut some of their shops permanently too.
Research into the matter indicates that there are now in the region of 8,000 betting shops open in the UK, which is a drop of about 1,000 physical stores over the course of the past few years.
Gambling has long been a popular pastime in the UK, which now has some of the most relaxed rules and regulations surrounding the betting industry of any country in the world. This was not always the case, though. In fact, until the 1960s, the only betting in the UK that was legal was at racecourses, though betting by phone or even post was allowed due to a loophole in the rules.
The Betting and Gaming Act 1960 that was introduced by Harold McMillan's government led to the legalisation of betting shops in the UK for the first time. Over the decades since then, betting shops became an increasingly common sight on UK high streets. Indeed, it is not uncommon for betting shops of two different gambling companies to be placed right next door to each other.
Various companies run UK betting shops with Betfred, Paddy Power, William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes among them. There are now around 8,000 betting shops in the UK, though the number has been dropping due to the pandemic - and as a result of the rise in online betting.
Betting shops are a popular place to go for a lot of people as they provide a social experience. The shops often offer free hot drinks like tea and coffee in a bid to tempt their visitors to stay for longer, while television screens show live sports such as horse racing from around the country.
Users are able to place wagers over the counter via pre-printed slips, such as those showing all the UK football fixtures that are taking place on a particular day, or people can write down their own wagers instead. A cashier will take the slip and process it, with the bettor given a receipt to keep, which they will have to present to receive their winnings in the event of a bet coming off.
Fixed-odds betting terminals are often in place at UK betting shops too, offering casino-style games like roulette or bingo, though they have proven to be quite controversial in recent years due to how easy they are to rack up substantial losses in a short period of time. In 2019, the government brought in new legislation that meant these fixed-odds betting terminals - known as FOBTs for short - were only able to charge a maximum of £2 per stake. There are also very strict regulations dictating how many FOBT machines that a single betting shop is allowed to operate.
There are many differences between betting at a shop or online. Some people might do both depending on various factors, while others have a preference for either online or using shops.
For a lot of people, like the younger generation, betting shops may be seen as a bit of a relic. With betting online easier than ever as a result of new mobile betting technology, some people simply do not see the point in taking the time to visit a physical betting shop in order to place a wager.
However, betting shops remain very popular among older people in particular, who may not be as comfortable or confident in using the internet, or an app on a mobile device, to bet online.
They provide a space for socialising that is very valuable and betting shops can even act as a kind of community hub in a way that no online betting site is ever going to be able to replicate.
Betting shops are seen as traditional. It can be something of a rite of passage to place a bet for the first time, while a trip to a physical store may be a tradition for days like the Grand National.
Of course, a lot of the top companies within the gambling sector run both physical betting shops, plus an online site as an alternative. Coral, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power are among the firms to be used both online and offline by sports fans looking to place bets on the big game of the day.
It is even possible to use the same betting account online and offline with the same company sometimes, giving their customers an extra layer of flexibility that many find very welcome.
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Steven is an experienced iGaming content writer who has been working in the industry since 2018. He is passionate about sports betting and enjoys writing about all aspects of the industry, including bookmaker reviews, betting tips and strategies, and news and analysis. If you have any questions about online gambling in the UK, please don't hesitate to contact him.