All betting shops across the UK did of course experience massive income levels from 2006 onward, thanks to the fixed odds betting terminals there were allowed to operate.
However, those days of easy money are long gone, and with the UK Gambling Commission ordering them to reduce the stakes at which those machines can be played for, all of them have seen income and profit levels drop.
The new demographic of their customer base has gone full circle, for whilst a new breed of gamblers was introduced to betting shops and those machines when they could be played for high stakes, the original betting shop punter is once again their bread and butter, those being those who want to bet on horse races.
As such, those tasked with keeping the tills ringing at all betting shops, are once again basing their daily promotional offers around those type of customers, rather than sitting back and ignoring them, which they got into the habit of doing when fixed odds betting terminals were producing eye watering income levels.
One problem High Street bookies are now faced with however, is that their one-time loyal horse racing customers deserted them years ago, having found not only plenty of sites to bet at online, but the extra value they could get online too.
Peer to Peer Betting is the New Norm
Betting Exchanges are of course plentiful these days, and by offering anyone who wishes to bet on any type of sporting event, the ability to do so or even lay bets from other punters, is an enticing way of betting that many people have now fully embraced.
The upshot of betting on such a platform is that those wishing to place a bet can do so and be as good as guaranteed of getting much higher odds than any high street bookie would offer them, and those who fancy for all intents and purposes becoming a bookie too, can do so with relative ease.
Those exchanges have of course caused many bookies to lose income and betting turnover, for no sane punter is going to want to take odds on for example a horse winning a race at 3/1 when by simply logging into a betting exchange they could get odds of 5/1 or higher.
In fact, you will often see many smaller independent bookies and even on-course bookies laying off any big bets they take themselves just to limit their liabilities, that simple fact speaks volumes and is something most punters have cottoned onto.
Several major betting shop operators are of course now closing down their non profitable and low-income generating betting offices, as they simply cannot compete with betting exchanges and other peer to peer betting platforms.
The blame for that situation is theirs and theirs alone and is due to their own making, by ignoring for years their core customers, when those betting terminals were coining it in for them, offering games a horse race bettor would have no interest in playing.
What Does the Future Hold?
If you look at the websites of any high street bookmaker, you will get an idea of what the future holds, and that is their online and mobile offerings of gambling opportunities, which bear no resemblance to betting on sport.
Each of them has their own online casinos, poker sites and even bingo sites, and that is what each of them are hoping will keep the money rolling in and help them survive over the long term.
Whether all of them will is another matter, in fact there have been many one-time online only gambling related companies buying out betting shop operators, so the push to get people to gamble online is going to be as strong in the future as it is now.
There are however dangers of allowing people to gamble from the comfort of their own home, for no end of people have got into severe financial difficulties by blowing their entire bank account balance when on a losing run, which is easy to do.
The UK Gambling Commission are of course more than aware of that situation and are constantly dreaming up new responsible gambling tools and policies their license holders must abide by.
However, at the end of the day I have seen more than my fair share of people having their online and mobile betting accounts blocked, due to nothing more serious that customers showing a profit, that is something the Gambling Commission needs to investigate as it indicates beyond any doubt, bookies only want losers as their customers, not those who make a profit form their betting activities.