Our Members

ABB Scotland represents some of Scotland’s biggest and best known bookmakers including Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, Paddy Power and Scotbet, as well as a host of smaller, independent bookmakers, many of them family run over many decades.

Ladbrokes Coral is one of the world’s largest betting companies and the biggest operator in Scotland with almost 440 shops employing around 2,500 people. The company contributes around £12 million to the economy. Formed in 2016 following a merger between Ladbrokes and Coral, the new company is led by CEO Jim Mullen who is from Scotland and has a particular passion for Scottish sport. Ladbrokes Coral sponsors the Scottish Premier Football League, the Scottish Grand National in Ayr and the Lanark Silver Bell.

One of the oldest bookmakers in the UK, William Hill traces its history back to the early 1930s. Today the company has a global reach with operations in 10 countries including Italy, Israel, Spain, The Phillipines, Australia and the US. In Scotland, William Hill operates around 300 shops and employs 1,500 people. William Hill is a major supporter of Scottish sport as sponsors of the Scottish Cup and Ayr Gold Cup.

Ireland’s largest bookmaker, Paddy Power also has a substantial presence in Scotland with 20 shops across the country, employing around 100 people.

Formed in the early 1990s, Scotbet is the largest independent high street bookmaker in Scotland. Headquartered in Edinburgh, it has around 50 shops in Central Scotland, the Borders and the Highlands. The company employs around 150 people, many of them in smaller communities.

Among our smaller members are Glasgow based Morton Bookmakers, one of Scotland’s oldest bookmakers, Freddy Williams Bookmakers in Ayrshire, established four decades ago by one of the legendary figures of Scottish betting and still family run, and Edinburgh’s Macbet, founded in the early 1970s.

The bookie at the heart of the community

There are fewer independent bookmakers in Scotland than ever before but these businesses - often family run over many decades - continue to provide employment and enjoyment for local people. Julie Williams runs one of the Scotland's longest running bookmakers, establised more than 40 years ago by her father. In this Scotsman profile, Julie talks about her story, her commitment to responsible gambling and the role her business plays as a community hub. Read the article >

View from the shop floor

With almost 25 years experience in the betting industry between them, Fiona Scott and Tracey Campbell are typical of our experienced shop staff - passionate about their customers and communities and committed to promoting responsible gambling. Fiona and Tracey share their own experiences and their fears for the future of the industry and the 5,000 jobs it supports in Scotland.

      

Read their stories >

Betting shops

Betting shops have been part of Scotland’s high streets since 1961, when they were first legalised. Many of our shops have served their local communities for decades, becoming well established community hubs where customers can meet friends, watch live sport and enjoy a bet. In villages, towns and cities across Scotland there is an emphasis on staff getting to know their customers and creating a welcoming retail environment where people can bet responsibly.

Supporting community economic development

Every year, around 650,000 people in Scotland visit a high street bookmaker. At a time when many town and city centres are struggling with the loss of familiar high street names and face increasing competition from out of town retail parks and online retailers, betting shops provide an important economic stimulus for the retail sector, attracting customers into our centres and filling the retail void left by the 2008 crash.

Indeed, studies show that betting shops add to the vibrancy of our town centres and generate footfall for other high street retailers. In a recent survey of customers by 'esa retail', 62% of customers said that visiting the bookmakers was the main reason for their trip to the high street, while 89% said they combined their trip with visits to other local businesses at least sometimes. In Glasgow, 39% of respondents said they usually spend more than £20 in other local shops.

"Bookmakers have a positive impact on pedestrian footfall, which should in turn help to benefit other shops in the area through linked trips."

(esa retail)

Bookmakers also make a substantial contribution to the national economy. Across Scotland, betting shops employ 5,000 people and contribute over £110 million in taxes and rates. Our investment is also helping to revitalise local economies. Unlike many other retailers, bookmakers are exempt from the Small Business Bonus Scheme and therefore pay significantly more in business rates than many of their retail counterparts.

In communities across Scotland, shop staff are active in their local neighbourhoods, raising funds or volunteering for local sports clubs, charities and environmental projects. One such project, William Hill’s Close to Home initiative, provides starter packs for previously homeless people in Glasgow who have recently been housed.

Betting shops make an important contribution to communities across Scotland. Find out how many jobs bookies support in your area and how much tax they contribute Read the latest data >

Championing Scottish Sport

Bookmakers also make an enormous contribution to Scottish football, sponsoring teams at the grassroots level as well as the SPFL and Scottish Cup. Horseracing also receives considerable support from the industry through the horseracing levy and sponsorship of iconic races such as the Scottish Grand National, Ayr Gold Cup and Lanark Silver Bell. Thanks to this support, horseracing in Scotland is enjoying a renaissance and currently contributes more than £170 million for the Scottish economy.

  • Sponsors of SPFL and Scottish Cup

  • Backing for grass roots sport

  • £37 million invested in horseracing

  • Sponsors of Scotland's biggest races

  • £170 million generated for Scotland's economy from horseracing

Back Your Local Bookie

Thousands of betting shop customers in Scotland have backed a campaign to support their local bookie. Increased regulation and competition in the gambling industry have taken their toll on high street betting in the UK with more than 300 shops shut over the past two years, including dozens in Scotland. A new website Back Your Local Bookie has been set up to allow customers and staff to show their backing for the industry as the UK Government considers further regulation of betting shops.

Learn more about Back your Local Bookie and Sign the Petition >

ABB Scotland e-bulletin

ABB Scotland produces a quarterly e-bulletin where you can keep up to date with our latest news, responsible gambling initiatives and opinion columns. The e-bulletin is available to individuals and organisations with an interest in the betting industry. To join our mailing list, simply enter your address below.

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