Recent surveys have shown that Scotland is the gambling centre of Great Britain. It was estimated that two-thirds of Scottish adults will have a bet each year, and this of course covers the wide variety of areas where people can try their luck and attempt to earn some money. This compares with the figure of 50% that is experienced everywhere else in the country.

One of Glasgow’s popular casinos

The population enjoy betting on sports fixtures, the national lottery, betting on dog and horse racing, visiting casinos and also visiting on line gambling sites. The Scots have a reputation of being careful with their money yet seem happy enough to invest some of it on the chance that good fortune will see their initial investment grow.

The gambling industry in Scotland in 2012 was worth 1.1 billion pounds to the economy and it employed 13,300 people in the industry. The recent introduction of online gambling websites just made it even easier for Scottish gamblers to lay bets without having to walk down the high street.In 2016 it was found that people in the 21-44 age category were the people who were more likely to use the online service. This is hardly surprising as it is the age range that are more comfortable with using any on line website and any on line gambling website is just an extension of this service. Despite the growing popularity of online gambling this has in no way detracted from the number of people who are using slot machines. From 2019 Government legislation will see the maximum bet allowed on slot machines reduced from 100 pounds to 2 pounds. However for those people who enjoy the slot machines, they are likely to get around this restriction by simply having more bets.

Musslebrugh racetrack outside Edinburgh

Musslebrugh racetrack outside Edinburgh
Musslebrugh racetrack outside Edinburgh

The horse racing industry is popular in Scotland. There are five courses that are situated close to the main population centres in central Scotland. The courses are Musslebrugh, Perth, Ayr, Hamilton Park and Kelso with Perth being the most northerly located racecourse in the country. The courses are all owned by Scottish racing which organize the meetings so that there is an even spread of racing throughout the year and none of these will clash with rival tracks. The races attract spectators and horse trainers from all over the United Kingdom yet there are a number of respected trainers who run their yards in Scotland.

Some of the employees at Arlary Hose stables

The biggest horse training yard in Scotland is at Arlary House near Perth, and it is run by the trainer Lucinda Russell who keeps 97 horses in her stables. Each day the horses are trained for one and a half hours to ensure that they are fit to compete in any race that they are entered for. The racing in the United Kingdom is a combination of jump and flat races with the horses at Arlary House being prepared mainly for the jump racing calendar.The horse tracks have many different ways that the spectators can lay a bet. Many decide to bet with many of the major national book makers that can be found in the city centre. In Glasgow there are more bookmakers per head of population than in any other city in the United Kingdom.

Other people choose to lay their bets when they are at the track. This is where the independent bookmakers gather such as Kelly Martin who has been operating the family run business since the death of her father 2 years ago. She spends 200 days a year visiting race tracks both in Scotland and the rest of Britain competing with other small bookmakers trying to attract business.As well as visiting book makers the Scots also enjoy visiting the country’s casinos. There are fifteen casinos located around the major cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. The largest casino in terms of floor space is the Grosvenor Casino Merchant City in Glasgow. However the casino that has most tables and gaming machines is the Alea Casino which is also found in Glasgow. The workers on the rigs do like to spend their free time playing card games, but when they return to the mainland they are often too tired to go out, preferring to go on line to play some poker or Sky blackjack.

Many workers on the rigs are attracted into Aberdeen’s casinos

North Sea Oil
North Sea Oil

Aberdeen has a population of less than 200,000 people yet has three casinos. The reason for this is that the city is the home to North Sea Oil and workers will arrive and depart the city for the off-shore oil rigs. When men return to the city after an extended period on a rig the attraction of laying a bet at a casino is too strong to resist.

The country is also home to many greyhound racing tracks and each night there is a meeting somewhere in the country. The Scots love betting on sports fixtures and in particular they love their football. However, the recent domination of Celtic has made the attraction of betting on domestic football less appealing than it once was.