Betting Shop Cashier/Manager

The Job and What's Involved

Betting shop cashiers and managers accept bets from customers and pay out winnings. They are expected to create a light-hearted and relaxed atmosphere by getting to know their customers and their interests to encourage them to return.

Betting odds are the chances of winning set against the chances of losing. They are shown as one number over another, eg 3/1 or 5/2.

Customers may bet on:

  • Sports events, especially horse racing, as well as greyhound racing and football and other matches.
  • Other events, from the outcome of an election to the possibility of snow on Christmas Day.
  • Overseas lotteries and numbers games.
  • Machine-based game terminals that offer virtual racing or roulette at fixed odds.

A cashier's duties may include:

  • Greeting customers, taking money and accepting bets.
  • Making payments to those who win.
  • Updating the display boards that show current betting opportunities.
  • Overseeing the betting terminals.
  • Keeping the counter area clean and tidy.
  • Balancing the takings at the end of the day.
  • Dealing with customers in a socially responsible way.
  • Being alert to any potential fraud, underage gambling or other illegal activity, and taking action to prevent it.

A betting shop manager is responsible for:

  • Controlling costs and meeting profit targets.
  • Marketing the shop to potential customers and coming up with special promotional ideas.
  • Handling any customer complaints.
  • Anticipating and dealing with any disputes or safety issues.
  • Recruiting and training other staff members.
  • Setting sales targets for staff and monitoring their progress.
  • Organising work and holiday rotas.
  • Ensuring the shop is secure and meets industry regulations.

Both roles can be busy. There is often a rush of bets to be placed just before the cut-off point, as the start of a race or game approaches.

Nowadays betting odds and winning are calculated by computers, but workers need basic maths skills to understand betting odds, take bets and pay out wins accurately.

The betting industry is regulated by the Gambling Commission. All betting shops must follow conditions and codes to ensure they follow the law. For instance, staff must take steps to prevent money laundering, and to deal with people who may have a problem with gambling.

Most betting shops are open seven days a week, all year round, from around 9am or 10am to 10pm.

Cashiers may work around 35 to 40 hours a week and managers may work longer hours. There are usually opportunities for part-time work, although this may be easier for cashiers than managers.

The busiest day of the week is usually Saturday. Most employees will be required to work some Saturdays and Sundays as part of a rota system. Employers may offer overtime or time off in lieu for weekend work.

Nowadays most betting shops are modern retail environments with colourful designs, air conditioning, comfortable seating and screens for viewing spots events.

Staff may wear a uniform or be expected to follow a smart dress code.

Betting shop cashiers may earn between £10,500 and £14,000 for a full-time role.

Salaries for shop managers range from around £15,000 to £30,000. An area manager covering 100 shops could earn £45,000, plus bonuses.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

Betting shops are found in towns and cities across the country. There are around 8,800 shops in the UK, employing over 40,000 people.

Most shops are branches of large chains, but some are independently owned. There are also some small bookmaking businesses based on racecourses.

Online betting is growing, but betting shops still make a significant contribution to overall profits.

Vacancies are usually advertised in local press, or in the shop windows of betting shops. Some are found on the larger operators' websites, on specialist websites and in Racing Post.

Education and Training

Betting shop staff must be at least 18 years old.

There are no set qualifications for betting shop cashiers. However, number skills are important and some employers may expect a GCSE (A*-C) in maths. They also look for an engaging personality and customer service skills.

Previous experience in a customer service or retail environment can be useful. Some larger employers offer management training programmes. Applicants for manager posts are usually expected to have betting shop experience. Many large companies promote existing staff to management positions.

The University of Salford offers a degree, foundation degree and MSc in gambling and leisure management through its Centre for the Study of Gambling, which also undertakes research.

Entry requirements to courses vary, but are usually:

For a foundation degree, one A level and three GCSEs (A*-C), or equivalent.

For a degree, two A levels and five GCSEs (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications.

For a postgraduate MSc, a good first degree (2:1 or above).

Candidates should check with individual universities for exact entry requirements. Those without the usual entry qualifications can take an Access course.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

New entrants learn on the job. Most larger employers offer comprehensive skills training, covering:

  • Use of equipment, including gaming machines and computer systems.
  • Customer service.
  • Health and safety.
  • Security procedures.

Betting shop staff may work towards qualifications, such as:

  • Level 2 Award in working with gambling legislation.
  • Level 2 National Certificate for licensing practitioners (gambling).
  • NVQ Level 2 or 3 in gambling operations.

There are also qualifications in customer service.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

Betting shop staff need:

  • Good communication skills.
  • A flair for customer service and the ability to build a good rapport with customers.
  • Number skills, to ensure payments are accurate.
  • A good knowledge of sports and of the products and services offered by the bookmaker.
  • To be able to work effectively under pressure.
  • Basic IT skills.
  • To be alert and observant.
  • Confidence, to handle difficult situations or troublesome customers.

In addition, betting shop managers need:

  • Leadership, negotiation and people management skills.
  • To be well-organised and able to deal with several tasks at once.
  • Business awareness.

Your Long Term Prospects

The usual progression is from cashier or customer service assistant to shop manager.

Managers may seek promotion to area management positions, looking after a group of shops within a geographical area. Regional managers may oversee a larger group of shops across a wider area. Managers with responsibility for more than 50 shops are likely to need a Gambling Commission personal licence.

Larger bookmakers have supervisory and management roles in their head offices and call centres.

There are some opportunities to work with national regulatory bodies, such as the Gambling Commission.

It is possible to become self-employed as a bookmaker or independent betting shop owner. Special regulations apply to the gaming industry, so it is important to seek detailed advice first.

Get Further Information

Association of British Bookmakers,
Norris House, 4 Norris Street, London SW1Y 4RJ
Tel: 020 7434 2111
Website: www.abb.uk.com

Centre for the Study of Gambling,
Maxwell Building, University of Salford, Salford,
Greater Manchester M5 4WT
Tel: 0161 295 5000
Website: www.gamblingstudies.salford.ac.uk

Gambling Commission, Victoria Square House,
Victoria Square, Birmingham B2 4BP
Tel: 0121 230 6666
Website: www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk

People 1st, 2nd Floor, Armstrong House,
38 Market Square, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 1LH
Tel: 01895 857000
Websites: www.people1st.co.uk

Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB),
16 St Martin's le Grand, St Paul's, London EC1A 4EN
Tel: 020 7397 8710
Website: www.rgsb.org.uk

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