- Iconic British bookmaker Fitzdares is targeting a summer launch in Ontario, it’s first presence outside of the UK.
- Fitzdares has been in the bookmaking business since 1882 and bills itself as ‘the finest bookmaker in the world.’
- Fitzdares is planning a members’ club named ‘The Fitzdares Club’ for Toronto next year.
We talked a bit about iconic British bookmaker Fitzdares during a rundown of Ontario gaming licensees last month. A ‘deep dive’ on this unique gaming company is on the proverbial ‘drawing board’ once things settle down a bit. Fitzdares has issued a press release about their Ontario plans and the news is definitely good on several fronts! Fitzdares is planning to launch in Ontario this summer but the bigger news: they’re opening a Toronto outpost of ‘The Fitzdares Club’ members’ club.
Here’s a quote from Fitzdares CEO William Woodhams talking about their forthcoming Ontario launch:
“We are truly excited to be launching the Fitzdares experience in Ontario in the coming months. Receiving our AGCO licence is a landmark achievement for the business. There will be huge competition in this newly-regulated market, but we feel our more premium and customer-focused experience will be an ideal fit. Work is very much underway to ensure that we deliver on our promise – in style. I would like to thank the teams at both the AGCO and iGaming Ontario for supporting us with our application and preparations for launch.”
The hockey graphic to commemorate Fitzdares’ Ontario launch is amazing (see feature photo).
There’s been a tendency for companies entering the US gaming market–particularly those with little actual bookmaking experience–to try and ‘dumb down’ the experience. There’s scant evidence that this is a good idea in theory or practice. To the contrary, the demographic profile of sports bettors in the US suggest the opposite approach is called for. To reiterate a point made a couple of days ago:
There are too many companies entering the US sports betting market that think the ticket to success is to ‘dumb down’ the product to the point that even lottery players can understand it. If you know the first thing about sports betting or sports bettors, you know that this is a horrible strategy. From a demographic standpoint, sports bettors are better educated, more affluent and more financially successful than average. Despite this reality, efforts to create a more intelligent and sophisticated experience for the betting public are few and far between.
Fitzdares is decidedly *not* dumbed down, to say the least. This is true of their betting offers but extends well beyond the sportsbook. For example, how many other betting companies do you know of that have published a well received guide to ‘Excellent Living In London’ (or anywhere else for that matter)?
Fitzdares, the world’s finest bookmaker, announces the publication of William Wolfe’s Guide To Excellent Living In London. Authored by Martin Williams, designed by Stefano Arata, and illustrated by Tug Rice, this unique pocket guide is a cherry-picked survey of over a hundred of the best venues, shops, and service providers in London today. The book celebrates those bastions of London that keep craftsmanship and excellent service alive.
The guide brings to fruition a long-cherished dream of Fitzdares’ CEO William Woodhams. Told by William Wolfe – a fictional amalgam of Will Woodhams, his late father Rod Woodhams, and author Martin Williams – it will be this decade’s required reading for Londoners, newcomers, and discerning tourists alike. Taking in top tailors, outfitters, shoe-makers, bars, hotels and restaurants, as well as stationers, florists, wine-dealers, grocers, and dry cleaners, it is the ultimate survey of the best on offer in London today.
Fitzdares takes the same approach to their members’ club in Mayfair (that’s in London) called ‘The Fitzdares Club’. Another tendency we’ve seen during the post PASPA era–newcomers to the sports betting ecosystem that don’t think that their potential clients are dullards as noted above have a mistaken impression that they’re all poorly educated, douche-baggy louts. Like the guys in the photo to the left.
Fitzdares takes the high road in their marketing efforts and that’s true about their club. Here’s a description from the UK magazine Tattler:
Billed as one of the country’s ‘most luxurious sports bars’, Fitzdares has jumped over hurdles to create a sumptuous palace on Davies Street, the bookmakers spiritual home where it was originally founded in 1882, just a stone’s throw away from Claridge’s.
Behind the immaculate doors to the Mayfair home of sport, interior designer Rosanna Bossom (of 5 Hertford Street fame) has created a luxurious pad to lay down your bets and toast winnings when it opens on 1 September. The sumptuous comfort will be welcome with 24 hours of sport available to watch six days a week (or seven if there is a boxing match on).
There is no fear of going hungry or thirsty during a marathon game of cricket either. This is one members dining experience where you can forget your table manners and slip a pair of discreetly placed headphones in your ear to listen to the sports commentary as you tuck into the traditional menu of Bresse chicken and truffle dippers, burgers made from rump and bone marrow or lobster croissants.
Another blurb, this from The Mayfair Musings:
Fitzdares has been taking the world’s largest sporting wagers since 1882, originally founded on Davies Street in Mayfair. Fittingly, this location has been chosen as the new home for the The Fitzdares Club. Comprised of two floors, the club will feature a restaurant, bar, two private dining rooms and a dedicated Racing Room. State-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and 4K HD streams will screen sport every day, including the biggest events, from Royal Ascot to the Champions League, and those Vegas 4am prize fights.
Personally, this type of environment is right up my alley. The broader point, however, is the need for connecting with and understanding customers–something that few bookmakers actually bother to do. Here’s William Woodhams, CEO of Fitzdares–I’ve highlighted the ‘money shot’:
“We are thrilled to introduce one of the most luxurious sports clubs in the country. While most bookies are closing their doors or just going online, we believe that the future of bookmaking is not algorithms or bombarding customers with mass advertising. It is the connection between the bookmaker and the sports fan that really counts.”
Here’s the official website:
Here’s a photo gallery of the club:
Looking forward to Fitzdares sportsbook launch in Ontario and the debut of their Toronto club ‘next year’. Here’s the press release: