Prior to the London Olympic Games UK bookmakers were being cautious over estimates of how much money would be spent over the event. Leading bookmakers such as William Hill and Ladbrokes repeatedly said that there was never much betting action at the Olympics and that they weren’t expecting much.
However, since the games finished it has been revealed that the amount of bets placed far surpassed expectations and that there was a significant rise in turnover from the previous Olympics.
Ladbrokes has said that it believes over £80 million in turnover happened during the Olympics which is massive compared with the £4 million turnover during the Beijing Games. According to the Coral gambling group three million people wanted to place their first bet on the Olympics.
Betfair said that the 100m Men’s Final attracted the most betting action with a total of 19,000 individuals playing a bet on the race. Overall Betfair saw its customer numbers almost double from 50,000 to just under 100,000.
The Olympics also proved to be good for retail and entertainment venues in London. A massive six million people visited the Westfield shopping centre in the last two weeks.
Now that the games are over London bookmakers have shifted their attention to opening markets on some of the athletes from Team GB. At both Coral and Ladbrokes there are odds of 5/2 that Mo Farah, the double gold medallist (5,000m and 10,000m running) will be named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Bradley Wiggins is favourite to take the title, the winner of the Tour de France and Olympic time trial winner has odds of 8/13 at Sky Bet. Other athletes in contention are Jessica Ennis (9/1 at Bet365), Andy Murray (22/1 at Bet365) and Chris Hoy (50/1 at Ladbrokes).