A city with a financial district as large as London's is built on gambling although this at times is dressed up as investing.
The UK's High Street betting shops are famous for accepting bets on almost everything, this reputation however maybe a touch a over rated although you can bet on almost every major global sport and politics. There are four major betting shops that seem to dominate London's High Street these being Ladbrokes, William Hill, Bet Fred and Paddy Power. All seem to have a similar formula with screens showing sports (mainly horse racing), a few slot machines and form guides displayed across the walls as well as a crazy gambler in the corner muttering away in disappointment.
Online gambling is growing with the traditional High Street Shops being joined by other players in the market place and always offering strong incentives for those looking to bet to use their online platform.
As you walk through London you will come across what appear to be empty shops full of slot machines making strange electronic sounds. Very few people gamble at these venues which add to their depressing look, yet the most depressing aspect is these shops obviously still make money as they never seem to close down despite the expensive overheads of renting retail space. Someone is making money and I am sure it is not the person who likes playing the slot machines.
London is home to over 20 casinos that offer table games such as roulette, blackjack and poker as well as the traditional slot machine. Many are open 24 hours which is good to remember if you are looking for a place to drink or watch a sports match in a different timezone. The general public does not have access to all the casinos in London as those such as the Ritz and Crockford target a more exclusive clientele happy to spend £10,000 on a hand of poker.
London may not be home to a horse racing track but don't despair as their are plenty of them to enjoy a day put at the races in the surrounding counties. Royal Ascot held around June every year should be on most people's bucket list while Goodwood (West Sussex), Cheltenham (Gloucestershire) and Aintree (Liverpool) all having racing carnivals well worth a day out or few days away to enjoy.
The National Lottery funds many excellent community organisations and causes so if you are going to gamble and lose at least you will be supporting some group that needs your money. Lottery tickets, Euro Millions and instant women games can be purchased at local convenience shops and supermarkets.
High Street betting shop William Hill has developed a reputation for allowing punters to bet on a whole range of unusual things. Some of the bets made through William Hill.