Christmas 2016 will be a festive period to forget for betting operators, as the industry counts the cost of December’s congested English football schedule.
Closing its 2016, betting operators are reported to have been hit by industry-wide losses of over £100 million as heavily backed football favourites won their respective matches, with some bookmakers expected to report losses of circa £10 million.
Devastating to bookmaker balances will have been Premier League match day 18 (26-28 December) in which EPL title contenders Chelsea FC, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United won their matches.
Issuing a trading update this Monday, FTSE-listed William Hill detailed to investors that it had taken a £20 million hit in December due to unfavourable sporting results in football and Racing, causing the bookmaker to revise year-end corporate earnings for 2016.
Independent bookmaker Sky Bet did not shy away from the ‘bookie bashing’, the bookmaker detailed to UK media that December 2016 had been its ‘worst month in living memory’, stating that it had paid more than £8 million on Christmas Day.
Sandro Di Michele Sky Bet’s Head of Public Relations commented on Christmas Period “Some people moan about getting socks for Christmas, but we didn’t even get those…Had it not been for Newcastle United losing to Blackburn Rovers it would have been the worst day in the company’s history and probably the industry”.
Watching the results, Industry analyst Regulus Partners has detailed that no bookmaker would have escaped Christmas 2016’s bashing, with William Hill’s severe losses expected to be replicated industry-wide as operators gear up to announce full-year 2016 results in the coming days