gambling in London

Gambling in London

A city with a financial district as large as London's is built on gambling although this at times is dressed up as investing. A day out at the races can be great fun and a great cultural event, as can pretending you are James Bond for a night at one of London's many casinos. This page is not to encourage gambling just provide information on where you can lose your money if that is what you choose to do but obviously we hope you win!

Check out for major horse racing events in the UK


High Street Betting Shops and Online Gambling

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.


High Street Slot Machine Shops

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.  


Horse Racing

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.


National Lottery/Euro Millions and Instant Win Games

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.


Quirky Story/Fact about Gambling in the UK

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.

  • In 1964 a punter placed a bet of £10 at 1000-1 that man would land on the moon before 1970, Neil Armstrong's moon walk on the 21st July 1969 meant they paid out £10,000 to the original punter and £50,000 overall
  • The company accepted bets on who shot "JR" in the American soap Dallas.
  • Screaming Lord Sutch leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party placed a bet at 15,000,000,000 to 1 that he would one day become Prime Minister of Great Britain.   
  • In the 2010 world cup, William Hill offered odds of 7/2 for any English player crying on camera during the tournament


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