BetVictor is one of the biggest names in the betting industry at the minute. But, their love affair with the high street actually ended several years ago and today you see them as an online entity.
The work they carried out in the early years was pivotal to the company’s success though and we wanted to highlight their work within high street bookmaking as a result. Whilst the bookmaker has changed its name from Victor Chandler to BetVictor as we know it today, very little has actually changed in terms of who own the company, as we will explain later in the article.
On the Internet
The bookmaker is easily one of the biggest and best when it comes to their online presence. The sites looks is one of the highlights for us and we think there are few, if any that are better to use in this form.
There is little doubt that the site really caters for horse racing and football fanatics, with an unbelievable number of races and football matches to choose from, based around the world. But, other sports aren’t forgotten as they are able to offer a huge number of games from the likes of golf, cricket, rugby, MMA, boxing and many more.
The bookmaker has become famed for their competitive pricing structure and in fact have won several awards for being consistently best priced over a number of years.
The company was initially founded by William Chandler in 1946. At that time chandler was a massive sports fan and he was able to be fortune to already own a dog track in the form of Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium. At this point high street betting shops were still outlawed, but on site bookmaking wasn’t, so it was here, at his own track where Chandler first started dipping his toes into bookmaking.
The stadium had been open for 21 years prior to Chandler finally opening officially in 1946. Like most, he was able to dodge the law for several years working within racetracks and also taking bets via runners on the high street.
In 1961 the ban on high street bookmaking had been lifted. But, it took a couple of years before Chandler got to grips with what the wanted to do and more importantly, where. It wasn’t until 1963 when he decided that he would open his first high street shop and before long, he had a tidy little fleet nestled amongst the towns and cities of the south of England.
At the same time, the company was handed down from William to his son, Victor Sr. It was decided that the company needed a better brand identity and one of the first things that Victor did was change it to Victor Chandler. In fact, the name has become so synonymous within the gambling industry that many people still refer them as that today.
The business continued to flourish, but the sudden death of Victor Sr in 1974 meant that it was left up to his son, Victor Jr to take the reigns and move the company forward, which he did with great affect. Victor Jr took it upon himself to become the face of the brand in an attempt to become more likable and something that people could relate to, unlike some of the bigger brands such as William Hill and Ladbrokes at the time.
The high street business continued to expand and with it they were able to create a huge brand. But, this period wasn’t without their controversies as in 1998 Victor decided to up ship and move his whole operation to offshore in order to avoid paying UK tax. At the time there was now rule in place for companies working within the UK to be based in the UK, so Victor Chandler were able to take advantage of this massive loophole and save millions each year in tax. Whilst this was seen as a highly controversial move at the time, many companies soon followed to enjoy tax relief.
The online era was where the brand really took the business to the next level. Chandler had identified early that this is where they needed to be and started to cut back on the number of high street stores that they had in operation in favour for investing into online practices.
The company eventually took the plunge in 1999 to launched their first edition of their online bookmaker and since then haven’t looked back. As the company started to expand beyond just simply stores in the South and many people playing online, they went through a bit of an identity crisis. They decided that Victor Chandler was a bit long winded and in 2004 originally tried to change the name to VC Bet, which was met with some very mixed reviews, before deciding to switch back.
The current name, BetVictor, wasn’t fully adopted until 2014 and this is at the same time that Victor Chandler himself was starting to take more of a back seat in the company. These days the company is run by Michael Tabor, who himself is an international businessman. They company is now accessible in over 160 counties and had a turnover in excess of £1billion.
The companies ties to the high street ended for good in 2015 when they reportedly sold off the remaining 18 spots at UK racecourses to the bookmaker Star Sports in order to focus on their online business. The company are now fully focus on their online work and at the time of writing have no further plans to develop high street shops.
BetVictor in the news
BetVictor ousts Paddy Power as sponsor of Cheltenham Open meeting (9th March 2016) – BetVictor have been able to oust that of Paddy Power to become main sponsor of the opening race of the Cheltenham meeting in November. Paddy Power’s sponsorship of the race has been in place since 2003 and is widely regarded as one of the longest standing associations within the racing industry.
BetVictor announces partnership with Liverpool FC (1st July 2016) – BetVictor have announced that are going to be the official betting brand and also sponsor for training kit for Liverpool Football Club. The deal will see BetVictor offer up a huge range of markets and bets for Liverpool fans, as well as a flurry of jobs within the local community working on behalf of both BetVictor and Liverpool FC.
Michael Tabor takes over BetVictor from Chandler (23rd May 2014) – Michael Tabor is set to take over as owner of the BetVictor brand when current CEO Victor Chandler steps down in 2014. Tabor was himself a founding shareholder in the company and also ties tot the Arthur Prince chain has a wealth of knowledge within the betting industry.