Shops losing business to the online outlets but the internet has boosted the UK’s live casino industry
|Published: 11th July 2019 11:52|
The word never stands still. Fashions change, cars change, even the high streets they are parked on have a constantly changing landscape.
Once upon a time Ladbrokes were synonymous with bookmaking and their familiar red sign was a commonplace in the UK’s towns and cities. Unlike another familiar red-top shop, Woolworths, the bookmaking firm are still trading but they have taken much of their business away from traditional shops and moved it online.
Online shopping has caused no end of high street casualties but some businesses have managed to adapt and run a successful business model based on brick-and-mortar shops fused with online commerce. Amongst these are the aforementioned bookmakers, travel agents and banks. Ultimately all have been forced to close many of their traditional shops, stores and branches but they are still in business and still profitable.
Bucking a trend
But, for the simple reason that customers have a better experience, casinos have bucked this trend.
The advent of the internet has served to give the UK a surge in new casinos across the UK. As more and more people find themselves enticed by free bets no deposit UK online betting promotions they also discover the fun that can be had by playing roulette, blackjack and slot games.
From this point, like discovering a new band whose music you like, the natural progression is to go see them live in concert. Of course in the world of casino play that means visiting a real casino where the action is not animated and you play inches from real cards, real roulette wheels and real croupiers.
Leading casinos make this experience inducing too. Plush décor, nice restaurants and bars are all part of the land-based casino experience. Consequently our towns and cities are beginning to see signs for corporation owned casinos with the same regularity you once saw Ladbrokes betting offices.
The big two players
Two major players are currently coming to the fore within the UK casino industry are Genting Casino and Grosvenor Casinos and between them they operate 97 casinos in the UK.
Grosvenor, who run 55 casinos stretched between Aberdeen and Plymouth, are owned by the London Stock Exchange listed Rank Group which means they are a sister company of another familiar land-based gambling organisation, Mecca Bingo. You will find 96 of those around the UK. Both offer provisions for customers to deposit cash and withdraw winnings from their online arm at the cash desk within the business location.
It’s hard to identify what proportion work in Grosvenor’s casinos and bingo halls compared to those servicing online operations in Grosvenor’s Maidenhead offices but the company does give jobs to over 9,700 people.
Genting’s a jewel in a bigger crown
Genting Casinos story is very different. They are a subsidiary of the giant Genting Group, a company headquartered in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Amongst their UK portfolio of 47 properties is the Park Lane Mews Hotel in Mayfair and iconic Crockford Club Casino in Central London.
Crockford’s is a famous venue within the gambling industry as, during one month in 1999, Kerry Packer lost £11 million in it. His massive loss came five years after Greek millionaire Frank Saracakis left £8 million behind in Crockfords.
For the most part Genting’s 42 UK casinos don’t expect their clients to lose vast sums of money. In fact many of their customers use their casinos simply as bar, restaurant and social facility. Thankfully eating and drinking out remains a business that the Internet has not managed to rob from our towns and cities.