There has been a great deal of speculation that online gambling will eventually have a significant impact on the feasibility of maintaining High Street betting shops. The current economic climate was also expected to impact on all forms of gambling, whether it be sports gambling at the local betting shop or gambling on casino games online. However, the UK’s biggest bookmaker William Hill have just released their trading figures for the last quarter of 2011, which show that over the counter gambling at their betting shops was up a staggering 11%. With most High Street retailers apparently struggling to maintain their turnover up to and over the Christmas period, William Hill seem to have bucked the trend in a big way with Chief Executive, Ralph Topping claiming that betting shop gambling has been successful primarily because it offers what he terms a low-ticket leisure activity. William Hill also reported that online gambling had also shown a massive increase over the period, up an equally surprising 28% in the final quarter. Clearly, whatever the economic climate gambling remains a growing leisure activity both online and on the High Street. As a pointer to reinforce the Company’s claim that it is the attraction low stake gambling which is driving the success of their betting shops, the profits from their in-store slot machines were up 7% year on year, and one has to assume that a significant proportion of the increased online gambling revenue was also down to customers playing online casino slots for low stakes. With the increasing likelihood that American online gambling laws are about to be relaxed, William Hill and many of the other major players in the gambling sector will be looking forward to a good year and one would expect their shares to show further gains.