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There was a time not that long ago, when all betting shops were illegal and the only legal place to gamble was on the race course or the dog track. When I was a policeman, there were legal betting shops but by law, they were austere places and  no advertising or incentives to bet were allowed on the exterior of the shops, no creature comforts within and there certainly weren't televisions or refreshments.
These days, the airwaves are full of sophisticated adverts hooking in the young to become hip and to gamble. No wonder the country is in debt. If this is the modern world, you can stuff it. Bring back the good old bookies runner is what I say.

 Yeah I have a story about my grandad and his brothers, told to me by my dad.

Back when as you say it was all illegal these rougeish brothers ran a local football pools thing, all at the same time as the Moores brothers (Littlewoods company now) and not too far from them, they all agreed to their own areas, one day the local bobby caught my Gt Uncle Walter (I think it was Walter, there was 5 bros') taking coupons and money, he took him to one side and told him the seriousness of it all and that if he found him at it again he'd be for the high jump etc, "Just my luck" says Walter "there must be loads of buggers out there doing this, and the first week I try it I get caught" "P*** off" says copper "You've been taking my coupon for at least 6 months, now on yer way"
Anyway they decided to try their hand at different things not long after that and let the Moores boys carry on with the pools coupons, the rest as they say - is history.  
brummie nick

The 'Bookies runner' that brings back memories, the story I heard was the local cop would warn the bookie that he was going to be raided on a certain day, it enabled the bookie to get somebody to take the regular runners place and when he was caught and went to court he'd get off lightly because it would be his first offense.

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