Swindon and gambling - a love story

By Staff Reporter - 14 April 2021

Clubs & Activities

Swindon has a great selection of entertainment, from museums and parks to shopping centers and indoor recreational centers. Gambling, one of the great pastimes around the UK, is also an effective entertainment form in Swindon (and also the cause of some problems). It is undeniable that gambling has taken the townspeople’s hearts and thrived even without a casino in the city.

Let’s take a closer look.

Land-based Bookies in Swindon

COVID-19 has made a dent in the industry, but there were still 10,217,502 active players in February 2021. A large part of it is credited to land-based betting in bookmakers despite the decreasing number of shops.

When the government enacted the legalization of betting in the 60s, betting shops sprouted like mushrooms throughout the UK. As the nearest casinos are miles away in Oxford or Reading, bookies are the primary means of gambling in Swindon.

These shops offer various events, from the traditional ones like football to new ones like eSports. Although most of them ventured to an online platform, land-based is still booming. These bookmakers can also be found in different parts of the United Kingdom, for example, William Hill.

William Hill is primarily based in London and was founded in the 1930s by no other than William Hill. William Hill shops have been offering top-notch betting experience for over eight decades and have expanded outside the country. At the end of last year, the company had £1.32 billion in revenue and £998.8 in gross profit.

Another bookmaker in Swindon is Betfred. The bookmaker was established in 1967 by Fred Done and was initially named Done Bookmakers. Betfred has over 1,600 branches in the UK and Ireland, which offers more than 25 sports.

One of the oldest in the business, Coral is a chain of bookmaker shops founded in 1926 by Joe Coral. With 1,845 branches in the UK, it lets punters bet on over 35 sports. Possibly the most significant slice of bets come from football, with over 200 markets pre-match.

Greyhound Racing at the Swindon Stadium

Greyhound racing is a well-celebrated sport in the country and began in the 1770s. Dog racing betting has garnered an estimate of £719,594,980 from April 2019 to March 2020.

Although there is a significant decline in the town’s gambling shops, Swindon Stadium is still alive for greyhound racing. As one of the main tracks in the country is located in Swindon, it’s a favorite pastime of the locals. It’s a social activity between friends and colleagues to go for an evening and bet a few quids on greyhounds.

The stadium is also known as the Abbey Greyhound Stadium and regulated by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB). The stadium hosts the races for 52 weeks annually and is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings, and Saturday evenings. There are at most 14 races every meeting, but it can vary.

But what is it about greyhound racing that makes it an excellent sport for placing bets? Far from other animal racing, greyhound racing is a sight to watch. Greyhounds are fantastic runners, and watching them sprint from start to finish is always a spectacle. Additionally, it’s very straightforward, like any other animal races. The races are a minute long maximum which is why bettors love it. It would be a quick source for money if you guessed the winning dog.

Betting at Newbury Racecourse

Betting on horse racing started in the country during the early 1600s when King James I reigned. Off-course the recorded statistics on the bets garnered almost £4 billion from April 2019 to March 2020, while on-course has roughly £2.4 billion.

When the locals are a bit weary with the Swindon Stadium racing, they turn to horse racing. There are a few horse racing tracks in the region, but punters turn to the cherished Newbury Racecourse. The racing venue first opened in 1905, after a century from the first registered race in Newbury. The horse racing venue is one of the most notable and prestigious race tracks in the UK.

It is 28.4 miles away from Swindon, a 40-minute drive, depending on the traffic and weather. They can either go to the event or cozy in and take the price in bookmakers in the city. The stadium conducts the races all year round, with 28 races per day, including both jump and flat races.

It hosts several notable races like the Lockinge Stakes, Challow Novices' Hurdle. However, the most famous of the racecourse events is the Hennessy Gold Cup, now known as the Ladbrokes Trophy. Swindon punters flock to the racecourse due to the big payouts and the betting opportunities it gives them.

Overall, Swindon’s gambling scene is hustling and bustling with different gambling places. Even without a casino in the city, people can still have their fair share of games of luck.

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