BETTING ODDITIES: Table with a view please ….

Plenty has been written about the pros and cons of concerts at racecourses but at a tangent I’m surprised racecourses aren’t used more as restaurant outlets on non-racing days.

And let’s face it there’s plenty of non-racing days …. even the busiest UK course Wolverhampton only race for 84 days out of 365 and at the other end of the scale Aintree for a meagre eight days (am indebted to former colleagues Craig Thake and Simon Rowlands for the stats).

Would it be the daftest idea, for example, for permanent restaurants to be based at racecourses? So much infrastructure is already in place kitchens, parking, eating areas etc. Speaking for my local course, Sandown, a Sunday lunch overlooking the racecourse would offer the best view in the town even when the horses aren’t in town. And I wouldn’t complain to a Monday night Nandos with a view either!

I’m sure they could be designed in such a way that it would work on racedays too – so they would have the ability to trade for 365 days a year and bring potentially racegoers of the future into the racing environment in the same way that the concerts attempt to do.

So much untapped potential for racecourses but it doesn’t all have to all focus on racing.


I popped into the opticians in Kingston the other day and guess who I bumped into? EVERYONE (de dummmm tishhhh). No, not that terrible Christmas cracker joke but the answer was a NEW Star Sports betting shop !!

The Star Sports betting shop estate (full directory is growing fast. Head Of Retail Matt Davis tells me that the Kingston Upon Thames branch is expected to be open by the end of September. It’s close to the market place and in a previous life was a Hills shop for years.

It’s 1.01 that it will be state of the art like all the Star shops packed full of technology and a comfortable punting experience.

I was wondering though the other day whether there would be a market for a retro betting shop? Just one in the country that was almost a museum piece. Roll back the clock 30 years to a shop with NO TV screens, NO machines, plastic stools, dodgy speaker for commentaries, a chain link door (I think that’s what they were called), pencils, duplicate betting slips and coffee/tea served in a mug. And BEST OF ALL the return of the boardmarker with accessories of magnetic STEWARDS ENQUIRY signs and the like.

If the retro shop wasn’t a hit with the punters – it could still enjoy a lucrative earn from TV & film crews wanting to shoot period dramas and films of what betting was like in the, er, old days.


Am indebted to Lofty (AKA Martin Chapman) for highlighting this twerp of the year. So many of these tiresome goading videos with the sole purpose of attention seeking. I only wish in this case he got his wish and someone did call 999 – to take HIM away. He went down EVEN quicker than some Premier League footballers in the penalty box but amazingly his ‘injuries’ weren’t bad enough to stop him filming this wretched video.


Apologies to rub this in to colleague and Oxford fan Joe Citrone. The QPR fans chanted to them “You only sing when you are rowing” during their EFL match last week at Loftus Road.

I’m not sure it was quite a good a cover version of the Barnsley fans original though …


DAVID STEWART is a freelance digital betting producer and journalist. His CV includes: The Sun, The Sporting Life, Racing Post, At The Races, The Sportsman, lead feature writer for Sky’s Betview magazine and senior producer Timeform Radio.

Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.