REVEALED: Betting Shops Misery Towns. Is Your Town on the List?

by | May 8, 2017 | Casino News | 0 comments

Betting Shops Capital

It’s a title Grimsby in Lincolnshire is unlikely to be proud of, but Grimsby is crowned as Britain’s betting shops capital.

Normally we show you live casino games, but today we decided to shine a light on the betting shop industry. Grimsby beats every other town and has the most betting shops in the UK of any major town adjusted for its size! Here is the full list of betting shop misery towns, is your town on the list?


  10. BOOTLE

North South Divide

This map shows that the towns with the most heavily concentrated betting shops are all located in the North of the UK. And the best towns which were relatively free of betting shops were all located in the South:

The 10 best towns where betting shops were comparatively rare were:

  3. HAYES
  5. LUTON

Mark Strong and Sacha Baron Cohen in the movie “Grimsby”

This is great news if you’re in Grimsby and fancy a flutter, but betting shops are associated with addiction and poverty, with fixed odds betting terminals being a particular problem. The government are currently looking at ways to curb the spread of these machines, many of which are responsible for the entire profits of the betting shop.

The list of towns was generated by looking at towns with at least 10 betting shops and then ordering them by the number of people served per shop, with lower number of people served indicating a high concentration of betting shops. We also included future betting shops in the list ie shops which had pending applications with the Gambling Commission. The industry is aggressively expanding, the last 2 applications for betting shops were made 10 days ago in Ambleside and Swansea. The Gambling Commission data is available here.

It’s also been revealed that betting shops are preying on towns with low incomes:

Each point in the chart shows a betting shop in the UK. The chart shows shops clustering at lower levels of income. These are pretax incomes. Shops are clustered towards the bottom of the graph which indicates that each shop serves less people in its postcode – ie they are more concentrated.

At Reel Bonanza we believe that gambling is fun, and we promote offers like free spins but we don’t like betting shops taking over the highstreet which literally empty the wallets of the poor. We support regulation of fixed odds betting machines so let’s hope that things change soon.

Betting Shop Data Methodology:

We first merged MSOA data with Census postcode data to establish the figures for number of people per postcode by age (we were hoping to find a correlation that showed betting shops were targeting younger people but found this not to be the case). We then took an additional census dataset for average weekly income and the final dataset added was betting shop data by postcode.
The weekly income data was matched to postcode and this data set was further matched with the number of betting shops by postcode.The dataset was then simply ordered to discover the top 10 and bottom 10 towns or cities when looking at number of people per postcode. The ‘number of people per postcode’ value allows us to normalise the data nationally to provide a fair overview by location.

Here are the links to the datasets used: – this was used to convert MSOA areas to postcodes – this is the main betting shop location dataset and is updated constantly by the Gambling Commission. The last shop was added 10 days ago. – ONS population data – ONS income estimates




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