Obviously, the basics of betting remain the same anywhere – you pay your money, make your choices, and cross your fingers. With high stakes betting, however – which naturally tends to intersect with more prestigious districts like Mayfair – it’s not only the risks which are higher, but the potential rewards too. Let’s dig into this trend in a little more detail.
For starters, what do we mean when we talk about ‘high stakes betting’?
To a large extent, the term is relative, and when we apply it depends on the bettor. For someone on a UK-average salary of around £35,000, putting £1,000 down on a single wager would be extremely risky. To one of the wealthier Mayfair residents, those sorts of stakes wouldn’t be so impactful. In short, ‘high stakes’ depends heavily on the individual, and the proportion of their income or wealth that’s being bet.
That said, we can still use the bookies themselves as a useful guideline here. The maximum payout on football, for example, on prestigious bookmakers like William Hill and Bet365, is £2 million. Thus, any wagers that even got close to this level of winnings would certainly be in the upper echelons.
Modern-day bettors, wherever they live, have an extremely wide amount of choice on what exactly they wager on. That said, some betting ventures are more readily associated with ‘luxury lifestyles’.
The most obvious examples are the top horse racing festivals on the racing calendar, such as the Cheltenham and Royal Ascot. Such events are synonymous with pomp, circumstance, high-end fashion, and big-time betting. Each year, residents of London’s most exclusive areas will happily get dressed up and make a day of it, heading for one of these events with the intention of not only having a good time, but making some money too.
Of course, if you prefer other sports – golf, tennis, football, and so on – you’re perfectly able to wager on those too. In addition, it’s also worth noting that many modern-day bookies let you bet on non-sporting events. You might speculate on the next general election results, for example, or the winners at glitzy award shows like the Oscars and BAFTAs.
Whatever you’re wagering on, and however much you’re spending, you will of course still be subject to the age-old debate about betting success. That is, whether your success relies more on luck, or skill, or some unpredictable combination of the two.
There remain two main ways in which you can place wagers – in-person, or online.
In truth, the ‘high street bookie’ has been declining for some time now, whether in Mayfair or anywhere else in the country. The bigger brands still maintain some outlets, but – with the rise of online betting – these are likely to keep disappearing. That said, if you’re attending an event like the Grand National, in-person betting is still an option. You can absolutely place wagers with on-course bookmakers, and feel part of the grand tradition of racecourse betting while doing so.
Naturally, however, the digital route is more convenient. While there are a few brands which specifically target an upmarket crowd, you’ll generally be picking from the same list of online bookmakers as everybody else. If you’re specifically interested in high stakes betting, in fact, then you may specifically favour one of the industry titans – William Hill, Bet365, and so on. These big brands will not only tend to allow higher stakes, but will also have no issues paying out top-level winnings. In short, this is one area in which practicality might trump luxury in your quest for high stakes betting success.