UK Betting Shops Need Alternative Income
It is a tough existence on the UK high street at present and betting shops need to look for alternative sources of income to survive. On 27 June 2011 the BBC asked the question “Why are so many shops closing?”
They were referring to the retail high street and the piece forecast that hundreds of retail shops were set to close as Habitat, Dolphin Bathrooms, Moben Kitchens and Jane Norman all went into administration. Chocolate maker Thorntons also announced it would be closing “a minimum of 120 shops”.
The number of betting shop closures has been quite resilient with 160 net closures this last 12 months. However, with the new media rights payments coming up, that number is likely to accelerate to around 500 over the next two years.
The problem for those that remain is that the fixed costs of media will fall to those that remain in business.
The betting shop window could be a source of income if managed properly. Check out the cost of billboard advertising – expensive to say the least. Even advertising on buses and bus shelters will set you back a tidy few pounds.
If a group of betting shops got together they could sell the advertising rights to their shop windows to companies like CBS Outdoor.
There would be stipulations. For example, advertisements must have sporting content where odds can be offered. So any sporting body could pitch for an advert and immediately appeal to 2 million gamblers in 8,500 shops.
Sports, therefore, currently benefit to the tune of GB£20 million a year as bookmakers freely advertise the venue, time and date of sporting events and the chance (odds) of each team winning.
Imagine this scenario:
Bookmakers make a market on ITV’ X Factor. The final result is in time to make the winner of the competition the Christmas Number One Single. Bookmakers make the market and when the result is announced the shop windows carry the display telling the public the single is available in the shops.
The main selling feature of betting shop advertising is that those interested in sports like to bet so there is very little wastage. Lesser sports could use the betting medium to promote themselves to receive higher recognition and move up the television pay scale.