The days of “토토사이트” being small shops with blocked out glass fronts, full of cloth-capped men pounding up and down the smoke-filled room between the board prices and the Sporting Life while armed with their betting slips and complimentary pencils, are well gone.
They are now mostly well-furnished and nicely decorated shops with clear glass between those on the inside and those on the outside looking in. And, of course, smoking is a thing of the past. Nerves now have to be calmed with a cup of tea or coffee from the vending machines.
And the clientele has changed as well. Horror upon horrors… women go in them now! And men in smart suits too! But, of course, there’s actually no need to frequent the “bookies” anymore, thanks to the internet with all major bookmakers having their own online facilities.
This, however, is not all that’s changed. With the advent of the betting “exchanges” like Betfair and Betdaq the facility is there now to “trade in play” and to “Lay” a horse (bet on it to lose) rather than back it to win.
There is also a greater array of bets to be had now as well. For example in the football markets where you can bet on anything from the actual result to the length of the grass at full-time! (Well, not quite… but almost!)
And then, of course, there is Forex – the facility to bet on the foreign exchanges, so that everyone now has the chance to act and feel like a champagne-charlie from the city.
These changes have, to a very large extent, swept away the stigma of gambling with people from right across the social spectrum now willing to have a punt on this and that.