Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Less of Us Are Doing the Pools

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Less of Us Are Doing the Pools

Article excerpt

Byline: By Howard Walker

The waning popularity of the football pools continued in the first half of this year with the Littlewoods owner yesterday revealing a 15% fall in sales.

Glasgow-based Sportech said it had 50,000 fewer punters in the UK than a year ago and it was not expecting the rate of decline in revenues to slow during the remainder of the year.

Its Littlewoods and Zetters brands capture 85% of all revenues generated by the UK football pools industry and the shrinking market contributed to Sportech reporting a decline in pre-tax profits to pounds 5.2m from pounds 6m before accounting for restructuring costs.

The football pools was established in 1924 and rose steadily until 1994, when it had 8m players and turned over pounds 1bn in revenues per year.

But the launch of the National Lottery led to a mass desertion of punters and the pools industry has also suffered from the deaths of customers among its traditional base of the elderly. …

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