UK Betting Firms Ready for £200 Million Weekend of Sport

UK betting operators are braced for a perfect storm this weekend thanks to a schedule packed with world-class sporting events.

Harry Kane.

As Harry Kane and England prepare to take on Sweden in the World Cup, bookies are braced for a £200 million betting spree. (Image: Wikimedia/Dingleberries2001)

Following England’s dramatic penalty shootout win over Colombia on July 3, Ladbrokes’ head of racing PR has predicted a bumper weekend of betting. As well as English eyes focusing on the World Cup quarterfinal clash against Sweden, sports fans have the Coral Eclipse Stakes, Wimbledon and British Grand Prix to speculate on.

“The weekend’s sport could spark a £200 million betting spree across the industry. With so much happening, we could see record turnover,” Nicola McGeady said in a July 5 press release published on The Gambling Times.

A Bumper Summer of Sport

The latest prediction from Ladbrokes’ PR department tallies with the forecasts made ahead of the World Cup. In the week preceding the quadrennial football tournament and Royal Ascot, Betway’s Alan Alger told the Telegraph’s business section that UK betting firms are on track for a lucrative summer.

“Britons are expected to wager as much as £500 million this week as England plays World Cup ties against Tunisia this evening and Panama on Sunday and punters at Royal Ascot bet £30-£40 million per day, according to estimates by bookies Betway,” reads the June 18 comment.

During the previous World Cup, punters wagered almost as much as the £2.4 billion FIFA earned from international TV rights. Although the final figures weren’t made public, insiders estimated that £1 billion was bet on the 2014 World Cup.

To capitalise on the positive market conditions, the leading operators have all rolled out new promotions. Paddy Power has been offering a string of cashback bonuses, while PokerStars put together a £100 million freeroll for players that could correctly predict every World Cup result.

Windfall Comes at the Right Time

Given the swell of action this weekend, operators could see record takings that should help them end 2018 on a positive note. In tandem with a packed summer of sport, new opportunities in the US following a court ruling that invalidated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 could also buoy the industry.

Between conditions in the UK and an emerging sports betting scene in the US, 2018 could prove to be one of the most successful years on record for the British betting industry. Given the government’s recent decision to reduce the maximum stakes for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), operators will certainly take this as a positive.

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