The darkest day for bookmakers was the Cheltenham Festival in 2016, when they had to fork out 60 million GBP to players. They almost lost between two and three times as much during this year’s World Cup; however bookmakers wouldn’t be what they are if they wouldn’t end up on top of every situation. If casino is more your thing and you want to experience gambling in the United States, even if you’re not physically there, try using some bonus codes for licensed NJ online casinos.
What kind of money are we talking about
Of the net worth of sports betting of around 625 billion GBP per year, around 70% comes from football. You can then imagine what kind of betting frenzy ensues during the biggest soccer competition, the World Cup. The 2018 World Cup saw bookmakers pocket around 41.3 billion GBP, while the UK betting market saw a 150% increase in the amount of money spent on gambling from 1 billion GBP to 2.5 billion GBP. GVC Holdings, the company owning operators such as Sportingbet and Ladbrokes, just mysteriously stated that their revenues were increased during the World Cup and that they were better than expected.
The fall of the favourites
The main factor for this was the unexpectedly bad performance of the majority of the pre-tournament favourites. Brazil and Germany were nearly tied for the role of the title favourites with 3/1 and 7/2 respectively. The other favourites were Argentina (9/2), Spain (5/1), France (11/2), Belgium (9/1), and England (16/1). The odds of course changed rapidly as the favourite were knocked out – after Germany’s defeat in the first game against Mexico, their odds slipped to 8/1. An if you consider that Germany didn’t make it through the group stage, Brazil were halted before the semi-finals, Argentina weaseled their way through the group and then got knocked out in the round of 16, and Spain lost against the hosts in the knockout phase, the first five favourites for the title were out of the game, which meant a lot of wagers went down the drain (into the bookies pockets).
England as the potential pitfall
The British market is very important to bookmakers and English fans are adamant in their support for the Three Lions. Even pre-tournament, around 19% of the wages in England were that England would win and you can only imagine how that number rose. After this became more and more realistic when England reached their first semi-finals in 28 years, the alarm bells were ringing since the bookies faced 9 digit losses. Domestic punters were betting for longer, more and more of them are betting on England winning, and no matter how low the odds would become, it was still a lot of money the bookmakers weren’t ready to forfeit.
However, after a semi-final defeat from Croatia, they could breathe a sigh of relief and actually made a nifty profit of all the bets thus far. This was especially true because the regular time of the semi-final match ended with a tie, the most unpopular result for punters. When it comes to the short term bets, England only won 4 out of 7 matches in the World Cup (3 out of 7 if we count regular time), so bookies didn’t need to be too concerned about this.