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The Betting Shop Manager of the Year 2011- Final 48

04 October 2011

The Betting Shop Manager of the Year 2011is hotting up and below are a list of quotes from those who have qualified forthe final stages from their respective regions.

 

Greater  London

RupertTann, Coral,  Horseferry Road ,  London

Horseracing is on the decline as apercentage of turnover, but is this a problem for betting shops, and inparticular Coral, if overall turnover continues to rise? For horseracing togrow, there has to be new customers. For there to be new customers, it has tobe modern and accessible.

 

KevinHoulihan, Betfred, Gerrard St , Leicester Square

To improve horseracing turnover, we need toimprove the experience for the older generation – they are the people with morespare cash and time, therefore more lucractive. Key to this is comfort.

 

HelenEdwards, Hills, Chase Side,  Southgate

Racing needs to be marketed moreaggressively and ‘sexed up’. Betting on horses needs to be demystified and madeeasier for the novice. A digital version of the Racing Post is the way forward.

 

MehmetBeyoglu, Ladbrokes, Coleman Parade,  Enfield

Key is product knowledge, which meansunderstanding horseracing, not just bets, How can you and your staff sellsomething we don’t understand? Interaction lets you know your customers andmakes them feel confortable being in the shop.

 

EmylLewicki, Hills,  Mile End Road , E3

Hprseracing is firmly entrenched in theculture of a significant part of our customer base, yet there seems less of aninterest at shop employee level. Football successfully rebranded itself, and ifreality TV can seduce a nation, why can’t racing . . . after all Tony McCoywon  BBC Sports Personality ofthe Year.

 

DanielHodson, Paddy Power,  Lower Addiscombe Rd , Croydon

Customers need to have confidence, built onanbetter understanding of horseracing, like that we have seen with football. Ifind that punters lose faith in regards to the amount of non runners andwithdrawals there seems to be. Customer feedback indicates they are unhappy.

 

South/SouthWest

 

RachelGriffiths,

Ladbrokes,High Street, Shirley,  Southampton

A staff presence on the shop floor,chatting with customers and helping lost souls is vital. It is easy for acustomer just to walk out when they don’t see what they want and nobody offersto help.

 

Emma-JaneBailey,

Creedbet,  Bath

It’s unfair the way Gambling Commissionfees are calculated, leading to smaller chains paying a lot more per premisesthan the larger groups of betting shops. Independents provide diversity, buttwo years ago there were six independents in  Bath , currently only three of us remain.

 

MichaelStibbe,

Coral,  Fore St , Torquay

Many football customers are new to thebusiness. This provides a great oppportubtity to cross sell, particularly tothe horses and machines. Often the best took you can use is just talking toyour customers; you are effectively selling with no effort.

 

CaroleBrowne

Ladbrokes,Lee-on-the-Solent,  Gosport

Machines in the shop are keep the highstreet bookmaker afloat. I would love to see a giant roulette whell spinning tomaximize the excitement or maybe a national daily tournament where people playeach other, this would generate huge buzz.

 

JoanneWhitford

Betfred,  Union Street , Torquay

People see betting shops as an alien world.We should advertise in windows/papers a bet of the day, or a lucky 15, with thepotential return, giving people an understanding of betting.

 

ByronMoss

Hills,High Street, Shirley,  Southampton

I would like to try and making the gamingmachines more personal for our customers. There is still a kid of invisiblebarrier as they only come up to us when there is a problem, or when they wantto be paid out.

 

SallyHolbrow

Creedbet,  Northgate St .   Gloucester

Many of us know all the names of ourregular over the counter customers, but can we say the same about our machinecustomers. Our job as good managers is showing the same customer service tothis group.

 

ANGLIA and SOUTH EAST

JeffReeve

Jenningsbet, High Street , Newmarket

This is a dynamic industry, but onesometimes under criticism. One area I would change is the clustering of bettingshops – a number of shops within close proximity. This is linked to gamingmachine legislation, which allows four machines per shops, and the relativeamount of profit they generate. Firms with clout are now opening two or threeshops in a small area to maximise their machine output. Given we are takingfewer over the counter bets I would change the law to allow a maximum of sixterminals per shop.

 

KevinSeymour

Coral, London Road , Brighton

Our customers love top quality horseracingand even the more hardened machine player can be distracted for a few minutesto watch some of our very best horses in action. However, I always find itstrange that some of these players think nothing of a £100 spin on roulette –yet wouldn’t dream of putting £100 on a horse. These are the customershorseracing needs to concentrate on.

 

BarbaraBerki

Hills, Marsh Road , Luton

William Hill, in conjunction with RacingPost and SIS, could set up a Racing Club. If every Hills shop attained fivemembers per shop in the first year alone we would have 11,500 members, growingby one customer per shop for four years we would have over 20,000 members – gettingfree/discounted entry to local meetings, discounted horseracing bets andloyalty points.

 

JoyMurton

JoeJennings, Leigh-on-Sea

We have noticed a real decline inhorseracing turnover. A lot of this is due to the new generation of gamblersbeing more interesting in machines and sports betting. This generation look athorseracing as being quite old fashioned and not as fun as the quick fix of thegaming machine. Joe Jennings offers a lot more to try to make racing as muchfun as possible. We work hard with many ideas.

 

TerenceMehegan

PaddyPower, Bellegrove Road , Welling, Kent

As a betting shop manager for the last 35years I have seen with my own eyes how something as simple as word of mouthbrings in new customers. In an industry where reputation is key, we are alreadydrawing people into the shop by offering them excellent service on their mobilephones. This is an opportunity to show we are more than just an App, but makethem feel comfortable about returning in the future.

 

JuliePotts

Coral, Mersea Road , Colchester

Creating a great in-shop atmosphere isabout engaging with customers where appropriate¸ making them feel its home fromhome, offering hot drinks and a listening ear, along with ensuring subtle salesthrough service, offering an experience they may not have been aware of, orunderstood.

 

SCOTLAND

AndyBennett

Scotbet,Selkirk

Football is now a major source of revenuein our shop, being the simplest of bets so appeals to all age groups. SIS’sincreased coverage of football has helped, but the main way we maximisebusiness is the same way we do with all other kinds of betting: speak to thecustomer and show an interest in what they are doing. They appreciate it.

 

GaryCornes

Hills,Kirkintilloch, Glasgow

Having a bet on horseracing, comprehendinghandicapping or simply trying to make sense of all the variables that caninfluence the outcome of a race can be a daunting experience for the layman. Asan industry, we have made the act of placing an informed bet too complex. Bycontrast the expert analysis on football is second to none. Punters crave asimple way to make an informed decision.

 

KevinMcGowan

Ladbrokes, Clark St , Airdrie

Horseracing is still the most excitingaspect of the betting shop experience. It has simply been overshadowed asmodern shops grow with new products. However, it still does exist, and justneeds to be introduced to newer generations through marketing.

 

MoragHorlock

Coral,Kirkcaldy, Fife

In a consumer led free market economy Ibelieve a betting shop should have the right to apply for permission to open24/7. Problem gambling would not be encouraged as the legislation, support andtraining for staff is already in place to ensure this would not happen.Extended opening creates more employment opportunities and welcome flexibilityaround working hours.

 

JoannaCurran

Hills,Kilwinning, Ayrshire

Our new TV advertising campaign [onfootball] was a real hit with the punters. My team and I make the most of thisby bringing it right down to local level and are big supporters of the Scottishjunior leagues and have an excellent relationship with our local junior team.We also support the pub team through free bets and promotional items for theirfundraising nights.

 

DannyMorrison

CoralStranraer

Everyone needs to work closer together andget back to making horseracing fun.  Wedo this with machines by talking up national tournaments, dressing up ourmachines and ourselves – and have been wizards and gladiators in recent timse,creating that all important buzz, mainly at my expense!

 

Midlands/Wales

HayleyCutts

CityBookmakers, Hotel Street , Leicester

It’s important that SIS delivers a betterquality product with the air time to deliver form and previews in a moreinventive manner and style. A good example has been the Bags/SIS greyhoundcompetitions, where customers liked the SIS and Racing Post enhanced coverage.This reduces the chance shops will turn into arcades – with dire consequencesfor horseracing.

 

KevinGroom, Corbettsports, Acton, Wrexham

We try and get involved with which teamsour customers support, and hate! I try to stay neutral. We also promoteWrexham, even though they are in Blue Square Premier. Head office produces aspecial coupon which is helpful.

 

DeanEdwards, Ladbrokes, Wyken, Coventry

There is an undeserved stigma to horsebetting that it’s complicated to prospective first time customers. We mustrecognise that, and keep our promotions and advertising simple

 

TraceyMaddison, Coral, Immingham, Grimsby

With Immingham being a tight knitcommunity, we help our local football teams with any fundraising, on days offassist with selling raffle tickets and manning stalls, while Coral donateprizes. Two local teams meet in the shop for a pre-match talk!

 

GaryForbes, Ladbrokes, Newark , Notts

Making machines part of our DNA is a key objectivefor Ladbrokes. Getting the basics right is a good start, providing a relaxedshop atmosphere that is clean, tidy and fresh. Developing the racing programmeon Sundays is also vital.

Ireland

MichaelVance

Ladbrokes,Newtownards, Co Down

Future customers might be able to use theirmobiles in different ways while actually in the shop. For example, bluetoothtechnology might greet their mobile, while we are saying hello in person. Thiswould open up all sorts of options to inform and reward customers for beingloyal to the company, or visiting the shop.

 

SaraO’Hare

PaddyPower, James St , Dublin

Being a Liverpool fan, I like to hang my flags which make for greater banter betweenus and the customers. Plenty of stick mixed with lots of optimism. It brings afun and relaxed atmosphere to the shop.

 

ShaneMullins

Ladbrokes, Pearce Rd , Cork

I would like to see the Racing Post combinewith SIS for a match of the day style racing show that could be made availablefor terrestrial TV with the day’s top racing highlights, jockey and trainerprofiles, in depth analysis and interviews. This should also be availablethough an iPhone app and You Tube.

 

ElaineFeeney

Boylesports,Market Square, Longford

There will always be a strong demand forracing in the shop environment so if we continue to educate our customers withsimple bets, make the process as easy as possible and also uncomplicate theprocess for our growing multicultural customer base

 

MarcDray

Boylesports,Westside Shopping Centre, Galway

We need to start to market horseracing moreto women, perhaps along the lines of ‘get the excitement of the Grand National50 times a day’; in our shops, SIS could employ more female presenters, ascould bookmaking firms. We can make the industry less male-dominated.

 

North-East

AnnRichards

WilliamHill, Micklegate, Selby

We need to reintroduce horseracing to newand existing customers, via the information required to understand racing ingeneral and also place basic bets. It's about delvering the best in shopexperience possible.

 

JohnBowerman

Coral, Fowler St., South Shields

To ensure easy viewing for the customer,SIS should ensure no picture in picture. Live links to the best availablepundits should be made available from the track, creating a better atmospherein shop and giving the customer a real feel for the race.

 

AndreaHarrison

StanJames, Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham

Having knowledge of football andunderstanding the offside rue is a must for all female shop managers! I enjoythe banter that goes on between rival teams and the customers appreciate thisduring the football season.

 

KeithRobinson,

Hills, Main Street , Ponteland,Northumberland

To appeal to the younger punters,horseracing needs to become 'sexier' with better TV advertisements and coverage,and more of it. I can't remember the last time I saw anybody under 30 with aRacing Post. This is a market to be exploited via a 'junior' dumbed-down paper.

 

BerniShotton

Ladbrokes,Holmeside, Sunderland

Racing needs to schedule key events betterto free up airtime and allow the build they deserve, and so generate a greaterbuzz. More is not always better.

 

DianeHall

Chisholms, Benton Road , Newcastle

In-running betting on football isdefinitely the way forward. This is available on live matches and is extremelypopular with all age groups. In shop I promote goal buster competitionscovering ten week periods during the season. Customers love having their nameon the leaderboard.

 

 

Northand North West

DianeLowrey

Ladbrokes, Egremont , Cumbria

I'd suggest a TV advert campaign withjockeys promoting the big race of the weekend, possibly with a tip. The RacingPost could support this by producing a jockey profile each Saturday. I'm suresome of the 18-34 year olds have never heard of some of the top jockeys, letalone winning history!

 

StevenKennedy

Corbetts, Brook St , Chester

We all need to try and capture the interestof the younger/new customers. These tend to bet on the gaming machines andfootball.  A high profile, popularpresenter/talisman, eg Michael Owen who has connections to both football andhorseracing, could be used to bridge the gap.

 

IanTaylor

Hills,Royton, Oldham

Mobile phones can only been seen as apositive. If betting companies can attract a new generation of clients to betusing their mobile device, then potentially these customers may also beinclined to visit our shops through cross-selling.

 

AmandaDuckworth

PaddyPower, Rochdale

The Racing Post's digital display, ratherthan the paper, is the way forward. Betting shops should have iPad type screensto view the info. It would be a good way for both Racing Post and betting shopsto appeal to a younger generation.

 

GreggPearcey

Hills. Allerton Road , Liverpool

I'd love to see SIS using helmet cameras onjockeys to make the experience all the more real and you could see exactly whatgoes on in a race. Interviews with jockeys, trainers and owners would be agreat addition to the in shop experience.

 

KeithChadderton

Betfred,Bispham, Blackpool

Face facts. We can’t keep looking back andnot realise that betting products and customers are changing. Most newcustomers that come into the shops today do so for football, numbers, othersports bets and gaming machines. A professional horseracing product is requiredto show that it is also an entertaining experience.

 

MelissaCaley

Coral, Ashton-under-Lyne

A loyalty card that defaults to acustomer’s favourite game, saving last spins on roulette, would be helpful tothem, but also assist us to engage with them through special offers, includingover the counter betting.

 

 

MysteryShopper visits - September 2nd toOctober 3rd

Final24 announced - October 4th  

Final24 to Doncaster October 21st

BSMotYSupplement published in RP - November3rd

RegionalChampions announced - November 4th

JudgingPanel Carlton Tower - November 20th

AwardsLunch – Carlton Tower - November21st 

 

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