Ladbrokes Double Vision – more betting capacity needed for the recession!

So there I was, cycling down a familiar street, unencumbered by the tribulations of work and in search of the local junk shop. A disturbing feeling came over me, as I came across this scene

double vision in daytime – whoa there

Thinks to myself, okay, perhaps the last few days have been heavy on the sauce, but it’s daytime, I don’t think I am drunk in charge of a bicycle, but is that really two Ladbrokes betting shops, one on either side of the road? I have to admit that this picture is a composite of two taken from the same place, but that’s because my digicam hasn’t got a fisheye lens on it.  This really is what it looks like.

So what’s up with that then? Are the residents of this road so bone idle that they can’t be bothered to cross the road to get their punt in on the 4:1 horse at the 8:15 races? We’re not talking the M4 standing between one set of potential betters, just one modest suburban road.

Last time I came this way the Ladbrokes on the left looked like this

Easton’s junk shop

Now it was the devil’s own job to find this junk shop open, and it really was a junk shop of the old school. They had the child’s mannequin in the window for the last few years. However, since I am in the market for a 200w mains motor which could come with some random peice of household junk attached it was worth a go. Instead, I find the opportunity to indulge in a spot of ‘turf accounting‘ at this shiny new Ladbrokes.

Psst, wanna place a bet?

Spin through 180 degrees and I get another bite at the cherry at the old place

more turf accounting for Sir?

It all begs the obvious question. The economy is on its knees, about to enter another tailspin. The trigger finger is over the ‘Now Panic and Freak Out’ QE button at the Bank of England. Loads of people are unemployed and don’t have enough money for the essentials of life like rent and Sky TV.

Where does the money that goes into Ladbroke’s come from? Why can’t the punters understand the irony of a betting shop being called Ladbrokes? Exactly what is it that people don’t understand about this being a monumentally stupid thing to do if you are short of money?

WTF is going on here and why isn’t there a law against parting the slow-witted from their money? Should you not at least be obliged to be just a little bit more devious than ‘here, give us your money, and we’ll give you about 70% of it back, in the round? Why are people still doing this in shops?

A google search for Ladbrokes online showed me that the Ladbrokes corporation has an extensive online presence. You can be fleeced at for  the sort of thing you can do here. You can take the shaft for casino and poker on another one of their sites. Heck, you can even play bingo with them – all from the comfort of your own home. And yet there’s still money in setting up bricks and mortar shops. Dammit, there’s even money is upgrading and enlarging physical betting shops!

A gratuitous Money Shop pic. Perhaps they can turn the old Ladbrokes joint into one of these

Maybe this is the future of bricks and mortar retailing – a Blade-Runner type of world where the evil underbelly of capitalism rips people off and feeds them junk food and dodgy mobiles, with Money Shops standing at the ready to gut and fillet them, replenishing their wallets at exorbitant interest rates when the last grubby fiver falls into the rapacious maw of the Ladbrokes company. It’s a match made it heaven –

At the Money Shop we believe that you should get your hands on cash when you need it. So why wait?

And so the wheel turns, and the dirty need to make money turns into the Orwellian boot, stamping on a human face forever.


9 thoughts on “Ladbrokes Double Vision – more betting capacity needed for the recession!”

  1. It is veering into the surreal now.

    I live in Newcastle city centre and within three minutes walk can be in any of half a dozen Ladbrokes — two, like yours, directly opposite each other.

    I can’t get vexed with Ladbrokes, though. That’s capitalism. And no one lost money, as they say, by overestimating the stupidity of the British public.


  2. I once watched a program about gamblers. There was one fellow who was living in the big pipes under Las Vegas who kept betting for that big win, because he knew he was going to take the Casino eventually.

    Lets face it though, the only people who win in these places leaves with their fingers all mashed up and with a new home in the middle of the desert.


  3. Hi Ermine,
    Probably not as sinister, just either the lease ran out so Ladbrokes bought the new premises to stay in the area and will close the old shop down.

    For me, if i want to be really cynical i would look at the National Lottery. Why

    They plan to create 100 Lottery millionares on the Friday evening coinciding with the opening of the Olympics.

    What i don’t understand is, how will they do it?
    How can 100 punters pick the same 6 numbers, then the same 6 numbers be drawn??

    What are the odds? are is there a fiddle in the offing, as some weeks there are no winners, some weeks there are 3 or 4 with the same number, but a 100. What odds would Ladbrokes give you.

    Just curious, what do you want with a 200 watt motor?


  4. Please, please could people on the internet stop beginning every single bloody tweet, blog post or sentence with “So…”?


  5. The answer is of course the crack cocaine of gambling…the FOBTs! (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals)
    Each shop is only allowed a maximum of 4 FOBTs per shop. The percentage of bookies’ total profits that come from FOBTs is staggering and that is why it pays them to open as many premises as they are allowed.
    Show any bookmaker the slightest ability to win even a small amount of money over the long term on real live horse racing or sport and they’ll close you down, restrict your bets and generally make it not worth your while bothering to try and place a bet with them.
    There is a surprisingly large ‘underclass’ of punters who have to employ various devious means to be able to get their bets on.
    Unsurprisingly bookmakers only welcome losers!


  6. @Buzby – take the point about capitalism, but surely there’s got to be some equivalent of the Queensbury Rules 😉

    @Rob I saw that programme too. twenty years ago I spent some futile hours in Vegas moving in on slots after people had had a long run of no payouts to improve my odds. I lost several housr of my live winning the room rate in quarters. You can’t do that anymore because they have networked the machines to aggregate the return rate so it’s not observable on the ground. However, the hourly rate on that was poor. However, it let me get out of the midday heat which I wasn’t ready for after crossing Death Valley from LA on the way in, in July without A/C 😉

    @Lupulco, you’re right, they’re decommissioning the old shop now. Looks like Ipswich is less addicted than Newcastle! As for the lottery, it oculd be as simple as rolling the selection 100 times (or as many as to get 100). which sort of drops the winning but increases the odds for that week?

    The motor is to drive the grain mill. A universal motor is porbably better than an induction motor for the starting torque. Something like a tumble dryer motor would work well, washing machine motors are apparently electronic drive nowadays so you have to build half a washing machine around the motor to run it. I have some leeway with hte gearing down, the main drive wants to run less that 60rpm.

    @Steve, so you, like, want people to stop starting narrative with so 😉 It’s a fair cop on a blog, though you’re a heard man on tweeters – that’s a running narrative by definition!

    @Win – FOBT sounds like a Ladbroke’s version of the Lottery scratchcard to me or a pub slot machine. It’s a funny old world, I never realised you could do that in Ladbrokes! I was tickled by this article where

    a bookmaker-commissioned report which clears high-stake gaming machines in betting shops of causing problem gambling.

    Well, there’s a surprise, like turkeys and Christmas, eh?


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