Betfred Opening Times Saturday

Betfred is one of the most established businesses in the UK gambling industry. In 2019, Betfred had 1,620 brick and mortar shops in the UK. Just ten years earlier, in 2009, the company had 806 shops. Today, the company employs approximately 10,000 staff members who work in the shops and behind the scenes as customer service representatives for the company's online gambling platform. Most Betfred branches open at 8 am and close at 10 pm on Saturdays. However, opening times vary depending on location. To find out the Saturday opening times of your local Betfred shop, use the shop locator.


The popular betting company offers a range of gambling options for punters. You can place bets on sports events and tournaments, including horse racing, football, cycling, boxing, football, motorsports and eSports. Additionally, online punters can also play poker, lotto, blackjack, live casinos from the Betfred website. If they feel inclined, punters can also place novelty bets on awards ceremonies, politics and other current events with compelling odds and bonuses.


The History of Betfred

In a documentary released in 2017, the Done family explore the history of Betfred. Fred Done, chairman of Betfred, explores how the company came to be. Fred and his brother Peter grew up in post-war Salford. The area was predominantly working class, and the brothers lived in a two-up, two-down house with their parents and sisters.


In the documentary, Fred explained that he hated school and said that he wasn't particularly academic. As a result, he wanted to leave school as soon as he could. Fred got into the bookmaking game through his Dad, who was an illegal bookmaker in Trafford Park, an industrial estate in Greater Manchester. During this time, Fred's Dad had a habit of losing all of his money by spending it all rather than using it wisely. Fred explained that his Dad wasn't a businessman and that he and his brother Peter had a more entrepreneurial spirit. For example, the brothers set up a shirt business which "didn't go far". While it did not take off in the way they wanted it to, the Done brothers learned from the experience and became better business owners as a result.


Entrepreneurial Spirit

Since he was a child, Fred had been fascinated by money. He grew up money-conscious and spent significant periods of time working for his Dad, learning how to become a good bookmaker. He described bookmaking as "his first love" and that it was "in his blood". Fred left school at 15 and undertook an apprenticeship as a draftsman, where he stayed for only six months. Fred explained that he was bad at the role and that he had no interest in the profession. Consequently, Fred left his apprenticeship and went to work for a local bookmaker at age 15. Fred said that at this time, he really "got the bug for bookmaking".


His brother, Peter, had the bug for bookmaking, too. By age 17, he was managing a betting shop. The brothers encountered some really good luck when Fred placed £200 on England to win the 1966 World Cup. The odds were 8/1, and miraculously, the team won, and Fred won a large sum of money. Fred said that the winnings "gave him a leg up" and eventually purchased his first bookmakers. Shortly after, Fred approached a local bookmaker, Billy Fletcher, with an offer to buy his bookmaking shop. The problem was that Fred couldn't afford to buy the shop, which Fletcher priced at £4,000, equivalent to around £76,000 today.


The Done's Purchase Their First Shop

Desperate to buy the shop, Fred asked for monetary contributions from the rest of the Done family, and they managed to scrape together £2,000. Fred approached Fletcher, explaining that £2,000 was all that he could afford. Surprisingly, Fletcher accepted the money and gave Fred a mortgage to pay off the remaining £2,000. Fred would pay £20 a week, with 10% interest, until the debt was settled. In the documentary, Fred explains that the first thing he would do on a Monday morning was to send a £20 cheque to Fletcher.


When he owned the bookies, Fletcher employed five staff during the week and seven on Saturdays to keep up with punter demand. Unfortunately, Fred could not afford staff. So instead, the Done family operated the shop. Fred, Peter, their Dad and their wives would keep the shop running and would manage different aspects. For example, Fred's wife would sometimes operate the till, while Fred's brother Peter was in charge of sales and marketing.


Taking Risks

Fred explained that Done Bookmakers took significant risks to succeed in their first year. During this time, bookmakers were not particularly welcoming places. The windows were blackened, and there were no chairs, stools or tables, as the government did not want bookmakers to be places where people loitered. Bookmakers were legalised but not encouraged. However, Fred explains that people did hang around in Done bookmakers.


During this time, horse racing was the most popular sport for punters to place bets. Fred explained that around 90 per cent of bets at the time were on horse racing specifically. In late 1967, disaster struck for bookmakers when foot and mouth disease struck. As a result, the horse racing tracks were closed for approximately four months, and many bookies closed their shops during this time, as there was nothing for punters to place bets on. Fred had noticed something that other bookies had not - that dog racing was becoming more popular. Instead of closing Done Bookmakers, Fred took bets for dog racing.


Fred explained that the turnover of the shop doubled within nine months because they took risks, opened earlier than competitors, and the company was generally more adventurous than other bookies. However, the experience was not all positive. Fred recounted a time when he took a bet from an individual who lost all of their money. They threatened to hurt him, and after a scuffle in the shop, came back with a knife and stabbed Fred five times. Fred had 32 stitches, and the doctor who treated him explained that Fred was fortunate to be alive. The perpetrator went to prison for four years, and when he got out, he visited Fred once again and asked for his money back. Fred explained that there were a few frightening moments in the early days, but overall the experience was enjoyable. Done Bookmakers offered something different to their competitors. The shop was welcoming, and the Done family treated their customers well compared to other bookies. For example, they called their customers "sir" and congratulated them whenever they won bets.


Expansion Beyond Greater Manchester

The Done family soon turned their attention to expansion. The second Done Bookmakers shop was in Cadishead, Greater Manchester, which was purchased for £250 and managed by Peter Done. The shop made the £250 purchase back within its first week. Expansion continued; one of Fred's sisters managed the third Done Bookmakers shop. However, for some time, Fred did not feel comfortable expanding the business more than 30 miles outside of the Manchester area. That was until an opportunity appeared in Liverpool. The shop was in a relatively rough area, but Fred explained that it was no more a problem than the Manchester branches. The business could handle a few badly behaved customers.


Soon after, the family purchased 16 betting shops in the North East, and their expansion gathered a significant amount of steam. Fred recounted that he hired a woman named Sue to be his North East area manager, explaining that she handled everything relating to those shops and was "fantastic". Sue made history, as she was the first female area manager to join Betfred. The company extended further south, with new shops cropping up in the South East, as far south as Devon and Cornwall. Around this time, the company was gaining approximately 80 new licenses for shops each year. The family loved the challenge of owning a company, and they vowed to never stand still; improvement and growth were always possible. Fred said: "Going into the business was about one thing: feeding the family. And just having the ambition to do something for yourself".


Betfred had to differentiate themselves from other popular bookmakers, including Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill. Fred came up with an idea to attract new customers: Betfred offered punters a bonus. About his attitude to risk, Fred said: "There's risk in everything. Any sort of business that you want to open, there's a risk in it. If there wasn't, everyone would be doing it. I get things wrong, I've opened businesses that have not worked… but nobody has ever lost a penny with me. No bank, no investor, everything is above board".


1996 Brings Trouble for Betfred

On the 28th of September 1996, Frankie Dettori went through the card at Ascot with seven winners from seven races. At this moment, the Done brothers did not know whether the business would survive due to the huge payouts they would have to give punters. The family didn't know if they'd be in business on Monday morning. When the financial liability came through, the brothers found that they would have to pay out around £2.5 million to customers. Bookmakers lost approximately £14 million because of Frankie Dettori's win, and several were forced to close their doors. This allowed Fred to buy more shops and expand the business further.


Fred Done and Manchester United

Fred Done is a die-hard Manchester United supporter. For 30 years, he had a box at the stadium which he wouldn't use. He liked being in the stands with his brother and the rest of the team's supporters, saying, "that's what football is all about". Fred got the opportunity to buy 25% of shares in Manchester United for £250,000 but ultimately turned it down as he wanted to use the money to buy new shops. In 1998, Done was the first bookmaker to pay out early on league winners as the team were far ahead at the time but went on to lose by just one point. Fred lost £500,000, but the event was "worth millions in marketing" according to him, as he did at least 50 interviews on the subject.


The Millenium Brings New Opportunities

In 2000, Betfred was about to open its first London shop and was seeking opportunities for sports sponsorship like their competitors. This is when Done Bookmakers became Betfred. Today, the company spend millions each year on horse racing sponsorships. Then, the company went on to sponsor several snooker tournaments. Fred explained that sponsoring snooker allowed Betfred to reach more viewers, especially those in newer markets such as China.


Alongside racing and snooker, Betfred became a public supporter of football tournaments, partnering with Manchester United, and became the first official betting partner of the new Wembley Stadium. Additionally, the Scottish League Cup was renamed the Betfred Cup. The company also got involved in the Rugby Super League, which was an excellent opportunity to get the brand name into the public eye.


Looking Back

Looking back at his bookmaking ventures, Fred said: "I have missed opportunities where I should have been bigger, but I'm not. I've kicked myself for a few things. One, I wasn't fast enough out of the blocks; I should have started faster and gone for it quicker. But we've got 1,700 shops so it's not that bad". Done acknowledges that they weren't as quick to latch on to the internet offering, saying the company "missed the first wave by five or six years". However, Betfred is now investing heavily in its online offering.

Betfred Opening Times Saturday

To find the Saturday opening times for your closest Betfred branch, use the shop locator on the Betfred website. Alternatively, if you are unable to visit a Betfred shop, you can place bets online using a mobile phone, laptop, tablet, or PC and place bets from any location.