Russian defender Vasili Berezutski has saved UK bookmakers a reported £20 million, as his injury-time equalizer against England in Saturday’s 1-1 draw spared bookmakers from an opening Euro 2016 weekend bashing!
Coming into Saturday night’s match, UK bookmakers were in need of some Russian love, as favourites France and Switzerland had won their opening matches against Romania and Albania, whilst a heavily backed Wales team would overcome Slovakia 2-1 in Bordeaux.
Playing at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome, England could deliver a costly knockout blow to bookmakers as punters backed the ‘three lions’ and loaded their accumulators on an English opening victory.
As England took a 1-0 lead through an Eric Dier freekick, bookmakers were facing a complete wipeout until Vasili Berezutski 92-minute equalizer swung the betting market back in their favour.
The dramatic turnaround would see William Hill claim a £2 million profit on a match that could have cost the bookmaker £5 million. Whilst Ladbrokes estimated that the goal made a difference of circa £2 million in its favour.
Speaking to Bloomberg Ladbrokes market spokesman David Williams commented on the result
“Had England held on we’d be lamenting a dreadful start to the Euros. As it was, we breathed a huge sigh of relief.”
Prior to the start of Euro 2016, Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen stated that each England victory would cost the bookmaker a minimum of £1 million in punter payouts!