Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 161–176 | Cite as

The Past and Future of the British Football Pools

  • David Forrest


The introduction of the treble chance game in 1946 allowed the football (soccer) pools industry to flourish in Britain for nearly fifty years. The focus on size of jackpot led to very high concentration in the sector. The near-monopoly situation facilitated a much higher take-out rate than in other gambling media, a situation fully exploited by the government through the tax system. The importance of the pools industry delayed the introduction of a competing state lottery but, when it was eventually introduced in 1994, the impact on the pools was severe. Much higher costs in pools than in lottery operation make it unlikely that the pools can avoid withering away in the face of much more attractive jackpot prizes available in lotto. The pools industry response has included a new joint product with the lottery but it has proven a costly failure. Reasons for the failure are discussed.


Joint Product Costly Failure State Lottery Industry Response British Football 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alm, J., McKee, M. and Skitmore, M., (1993), “Fiscal pressure, tax competition and the introduction of state lotteries,” National Tax Journal, 46, 463–476.Google Scholar
  2. Connolly, S. and Bailey, S.J., (1997), “The National Lottery: a preliminary assessment of additionality,” Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 44, 100–112.Google Scholar
  3. Cook, P.J., and Clotfelter, C.T., (1993), “The peculiar scale economies of lotto,” American Economic Review, 83, 634–643.Google Scholar
  4. Creigh-Tyte, S. and Farrell, L., (1998), “The economics of the National Lottery,” University of Durham Working Paper.Google Scholar
  5. Easy Play, (1999), Web-site, Easy Play, Scholar
  6. Farrell, L., Morgenroth, E., and Walker, I., (forthcoming, 2000) “A time-series analysis of UK lottery sales: the long and short run price clasticities,” Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 62.Google Scholar
  7. Forrest, D., Gulley, D., and Simmons, R., (1998), “Elasticity of demand for the UK National Lottery,” Working Paper, University of Salford.Google Scholar
  8. Kaplan, H., (1990a), “Lottery Mania: an editor's view,” Journal of Gambling Studies, 6, 284–296.Google Scholar
  9. Kaplan, H., (1990b), “The effect of state lotteries on the pari-mutuel industry,” Journal of Gambling Studies, 6, 331–344.Google Scholar
  10. Lafleurs, (1998), Web-site, Lafleurs Lottery World, Scholar
  11. Miers Jr., D., (1996), “The implementation and effects of Great Britain's National Lottery,” Journal of Gambling Studies, 12, 343–371.Google Scholar
  12. Moore, P.G., (1997), “The development of the UK National Lottery: 1992–6,” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, 160, 170–185.Google Scholar
  13. Munting, R., (1996), An economic and social history of gambling in Britain and the USA, Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Royal Commission, (1978), Report of the Royal Commission on Gambling, London: HMSO, cmnd. 7200Google Scholar
  15. Sharpe, G., (1997), Gambling on goals: a century of football betting, Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  16. Walker, I., (1998), “Lotteries,” Economic Policy, 27, 359–392.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Forrest
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Sports EconomicsUniversity of SalfordSalfordEngland

Personalised recommendations