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 shops and 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.


Mintel defines a betting shop as a licensed premises located in a public place to which adults (over-18s) can go to place a bet. It therefore excludes gambling in private clubs or other forms of gambling such as lotteries in which coupons/tickets are acquired in other non-licensed ways.

Gambling activities excluded are:

  • Bingo

  • Casinos

  • Remote/online gambling

  • On-course gambling

  • Lotteries

  • Prize competitions.

Gaming machines (otherwise known as FOBTs) in shops generally refer to B2 category machines. These machines feature traditional casino games such as roulette and blackjack, and offer a maximum payout of £500 per spin (from a maximum £100 stake).

The term ‘gross gambling yield’ (GGY) refers to total stakes or any amount (exclusive of taxes) that will otherwise accrue to the licensee, minus consumers’ winnings. This is also referred to as ‘consumer expenditure’ within the report.

Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.


BGT Best Gaming Technology
FIFA Fédération Internationale de Football Association
FOBT Fixed Odds Betting Terminal
GGY Gross Gambling Yield
GPS Global Positioning Satellite
MGD Machine Gaming Duty
NFC Near-Field Communications
OTC Over-The-Counter
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