Who is Fred Done ? Fred Done is the owner of the betting company ‘Betfred’ in the United Kingdom.
Ordsall, Salford, Manchester
His dad was an illegal bookmaker
He left school at fifteen
He worked for his dad collecting and paying out bets
He set-up his own bookmakers (betting shop) called Done Bookmakers located in Pendlebury, Salford in 1967. (Bookmaking had become legal in 1961)
Done has expanded the business all over the UK to over 1,600 betting shops. He grew the company by buying up chains of existing bookmakers whose owners wanted out.
His company successfully purchased the Government owned Tote system which controlled bookmaking at racecourses all over the UK. He merged this with his own companies to create Bet Fred.
It is a chain of betting shops in United Kingdom. it can be found on companies house here
“If two plus two equals six then that’s a winning business, if two plus two equals four, then forget about it,”
“We would drive to a place, park up, and then walk around. I used to call it ‘walking the course’ and I still do that now. You see stuff by walking that you wouldn’t see in a car.”
“If I was buying a new business, I wasn’t always interested in seeing the books, because after a walk, I would know before I went into the shop whether I wanted it.”
Done has built up a huge business providing bookmaking services. People can gamble on horseracing, sports and all manner of things.
They base their shops close to places where working class people will pass by including:
If you walk past these stores and look at the people coming in and out, a lot of them do not appear to be doing very well.
Gambling makes the majority of its money on addicts who cannot stop gambling and will continue gambling until all their money is gone.
But there is room for debate, as in all things. Businesses such as Betfred do provide a fun, entertaining service to non addicts to enjoy ‘ a cheeky flutter’ now and again. They also contribute to a busy, active high street and town centre.
Many other businesses have business models that are based on addicts spending all their money with them – think of alcoholics and pubs, dealers and drug addicts, confectionary companies and sugar, cafes and coffee.
Do we stop all of these useful services because of addicts? If we magically could cure all addicts then these companies would probably go out of business or at least reduce in size.
Perhaps the future is to simply tax these products and that money go specifically to care for the inevitable addicts.
It is an incredibly complex issue and with intensive lobbying from both sides cancelling each other out, the status quo will most likely continue and addicts will keep living in misery.