by Renee Israel
Before the London Olympic Games kicked off a fortnight ago, UK bookies were
making cautious estimates regarding the amount of money they believed punters
would spend on the event.
Bookmakers such as Ladbrokes and William Hill stated over and over again that
the Olympics traditionally did not attract much betting action, and that they
weren't expecting a huge crowd.
However, with the Games now officially behind us, it has been revealed that
bookies Olympics betting numbers have far surpassed expectations, and
that there has been a significant rise in turnover compared to the previous
Olympic Games in Beijing.
Ladbrokes has said it believes over £80 million in turnover will be reported
in the two week period of the Olympics. When compared with the £4 million
turnover in the Beijing Games only four years ago, it is easy to see the
incredible rise in numbers.
Numbers from Coral gambling group show that three million people wanted to
place their first bet on the Olympics in the past two weeks.
Bolt Race Attracted Most Olympic Bets
According to Betfair, the online betting exchange, the single event in the
London Games which attracted the most betting action was undoubtedly the 100m
Men's Final (with fans eager to see if Jamaica's Usain Bolt would set another
world record) with the total number of individual customers placing bets on the
race being 19,000.
Betfair saw its betting customers numbers double from 50,000 to just under
Major entertainment and retail venues have also see an increase in
activities, with over six million people passing through Westfield shopping
center in the past two weeks alone.
In the meantime, many bookmakers are looking beyond the London Games and
opening markets on some of the star athletes from Team GB who took gold.
Mo Farah Second in SPOTY Odds
Odds at bookmakers Coral and Ladbrokes are 5/2 that Mo Farah, double gold
medallist runner in the 5,000 m and 10,000 m events, will be named BBC Sports
Personality of the Year (SPOTY).
He is second behind Bradley Wiggins, winner of the Tour de France and Olympic
time trial winner, with top SPOTY odds at Sky Bet of 8/13.
Others in the run are heptathlon winner Jessica Ennis (9/1 at Bet365), tennis
ace Andy Murray (22/1 at Bet365 and Bet Victor) and Chris Hoy (50/1 at
Longer odds are 100/1 that Laura Trott, Greg Rutherford, Jason Kenny and
Charlotte Dujardin will take the SPOTY.