interestingThere used to be an SP Bookie in every pub before the internet.
But I have not heard of an illegal bookie operating in 20 years now.
Punters would tend to run off anyone booking who was trying to take advantage of weak people too much. A bookie trying to strongarm anyone to pay up for a credit bet would not have lasted 5 mins in the biz. Offering credit betting was always considered predatory down here. So there wasn't much need or market room for them once we could bet anywhere easily.