A new Ladbroke’s has opened near me, and a couple of people have already moved into permanent seating positions. I don’t know what it is about betting shops that they need to generate such depressing environments for themselves; the windows have all been blocked (in what was quite an attractive, well lit storefront) and white mountingboard seals every wall. It looks like it must feel like being on the inside of a coffin.

Matt seemed to think that they shut out external sources of light so betters in residence wouldn’t notice the passage of time in the outside world, which seems rational enough in that respect… but if these guys are watching races/football matches, etc, they’ll know exactly what time it is…

Ah, ’tis a wonderful and variegated world we live in. The best I can hope for is that the Ladbroke’s faces the same end that the three preceding coffee shops that inhabited that space did: lack of custom.

3 thoughts on “Ladbroke’s”

  1. I did find it a bit weird that they converted a cafe into a betting shop – I thought it was too large & presumably required a lot of renovation.

    While I don’t think it’s illegal any more for betting shops to have clear windows, many still do, perhaps to protect their clients’ anonymity, perhaps as they screen live sport and don’t want lots of people hanging around outside in the street, or perhaps just because it’s ‘tradition’.

  2. Agreed – it used to be a legal requirement that bookmakers have blacked-out windows, in a legislative attempt to make gambling as unattractive and unadvertisable passtime as possible. That’s no longer the case, but like Chris, I suspect that a culture of anonymity has taken hold in bookmakers – nice big windows which let everybody see who was blowing their week’s pay on the horses would drive customers away.

  3. I did not know about the legislation – interesting.

    Odd thing is – you can still see people quite easily from the front window. Just not any of the others – it seems more functional than anything else, blocking out the light to create booths for the bookies… but still, it’s ghastly, which is my key objection.

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