“Britain at the bookies”: uncovering truths about betting


Posted: July 30, 2015

Updated: October 6, 2017

There is only one truth about betting, that Britain at the Bookies stresses: no matter that you know, you are not going to win, you do it anyway!

Online gambling news in the UK have widely spread the information about the latest British documentary that will shake the whole gambling Europe. The New BBC Documentary called “Britain at the Bookies” brings you into the middle of the daily routine of the high-street bookmaker Coral. The company struggles to remain competitive in the more and more expanding betting industry, by implementing interesting marketing decisions. Its managers are constantly focused on bringing the company on a better position of the bookmaker market.

• New documentary by BBC1 on sports betting
• Britain at the Bookies: the other side of betting
• Football betting not part of the series

Their first obstacle is the Cherrytree branch in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, which has for years been the weakest link in their chain. Not only that it fails to hit the profit targets but it is also known as having violent customers. And while the series will definitely amuse the viewers of BBC1 for a long time, GamingZion looks at some interesting aspects of this documentary that make some general points about betting and gambling.

“Britain at the bookies” tries to picture the character of the average bettor

Britain at the Bookies Keith Johnson

We can follow Keith losing 500 pounds on a single bet

As gambling news report the passion that the characters in the documentary share for betting and gambling is absolutely incredible. Although most of them are involved professionally in the gambling industry, they do not hesitate to spend their free time and money in the same sector. Several characters that can be said to be chosen as stereotypes for bettors make very strong impression on the audience. That is the case for instance with, Keith Johnson, one of the main character in the series. He is a middle age betting fanatic with an unshakable belief that he finally has found the “system” of elimination of horses from a race. His presentation of this betting discovery of his is followed by a great excitement. The method is based on the suitability of the horses for the under-hoof going. However, in the end, the methodology of the poor Johnson proved to be a little bit too inappropriate.

What the series illustrates further in an incredibly vivid fashion is how the insiders in the sports betting industry are passionately entering their personal funds into the gambling activities. Thus, for instance, the Racing Post columnist Steve Palmer or the Coral odds-makers, can be seen making statements about far from objective methodology with a great enthusiasm. Tim, an expert from odd-makers team of Coral, speaks about the way they evaluate the race: “We think about things more scientifically than the average punter, so that is what gives us the edge. If I turn on the TV and there’s a race that I haven’t looked at before, I will still have a bet. It’s not a clever bet. If there’s a horse called Louie I will bet on it, because my kid’s called Louie.” Tim does not hide: for him betting is a job, but also a hobby.

Football not even mentioned in Britain at the bookies

Britain at the Bookies Doug Taylor

Perhaps not as well known abroad, but greyhound racing is very important in British betting

In two episodes from the series so far, the football didn’t get any attention, and a betting documentary without football sounds kind a strange. However the season is soon about to start and with it the whole football betting machinery will be on. As online sportsbooks in the UK usually say, with its fans stating their passionate opinions about every possible match but having zero insider’s knowledge, the football betting is probably the sweetest meat of all. Do they need to portrait football betting on the series? The opinions are divided on this questions whoever everybody agrees that the football betting business is a synomim for betting.

Football betting seems to be considered among average people in the UK more of an entertainment than a kind of possibility for earning some money. Most of the people do not bet because they are convinced that they will win. They do it because of the fun that is inseparable from this “knowing I will win”. It seems that the basic truth about betting is the double-think of knowing you are not going to win, but doing it anyway. And that definitely is entertainment. Or to put it into the word of Tim from the Britain at the bookies” series: “There are not many other things in life where you can sit there watching the telly and you get massive buzzes and crushing lows one after the other.”

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments