Bookmakers count cost of England’s early exit


British bookmakers are cursing their luck that England delivered such a dire display and see themselves dumped out of the World Cup at such an early stage. They had been been anticipating a monumental haul this tournament, one which would provide a financial breakwater ahead of the forthcoming tax changes.

William Hill predicted a turnover double that of the previous World Cup in 2010, to the tune of £200m. Despite England’s lacklustre showing however bookmakers remain positive due to the excitement created amongst gamblers by the array of high scoring and unpredictable matches.

“We are hopeful interest will remain high given the number of goals in the tournament and the free-flowing football,” explained Ciaran O’Brien, a Ladbrokes spokesperson.

A representative of William Hill, Kate Miller, stated how they are pleased with their current turnover and that “pre-tournament targets still remain achievable.” She moved on to say that though England bowing out is a blow, “they were always realistic about their likely performance.”

The general consensus amongst bookmakers is that, with the knockout stages not yet played, it’s too early to draw any overall conclusions from this campaign at this point.

After a fall in bets placed for the meaningless Costa Rica game Ladbrokes and Betfair have attempted to come up with solutions to maintain interest in the competition. Ladbrokes have offered to refund some losing bets from England’s 2-1 loss to Uruguay whilst Betfair have adopted a similar approach.

It’s an extremely difficult time for British bookmakers with the looming tax alterations and the recent general tightening of regulations which have seen share prices fall drastically. As such this World Cup gained enhanced significance with all seeking to gain a larger market share ahead of the changes. They are not the only victims however; pubs and bars, hopeful of a early summer treat with England’s games always certain to pack the place out, will also bear the brunt of another disappointing performance.

The tournament has at least confirmed the expected, continued trend for in-play betting and the popularity of betting via smart phone or tablet. With precious few draws in the competition so far bookmakers have been helped by the performances of Costa Rica and Chile who have surprised many with some excellent results.

Betfair’s James Midmer said how; “Costa Rica and Chile have been the bookmakers’ friends in the group stages.” Both made it through to the next stage with Costa Rica the shock package of the World Cup having beaten both Uruguay and Italy.

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