Brits Bet Over 1 Billion Pounds on World Cup

Published June 16, 2010

Brits Bet Over 1 Billion Pounds on World Cup

Online betting to thank for growth in betting, bookmakers say.

The 2010 football World Cup is expected to be the biggest ever betting event in Britain, with local bookmakers expecting to take in more than $1.5 billion in bets.

And according to the bookies, the popularity of online betting is part of the reason for the expected growth.

"This is the World Cup in which Internet betting has really come into its own," said a spokesman for British betting giant William Hill, which along with fellow bookmaker Paddy Power have gone on record as predicting one billion pounds sterling to be bet on the tournament.

Those figures take into account money being bet from all over the globe, with William Hill's figures showing that they have clients in 188 different countries.

Meanwhile, England had a sluggish start to the tournament, being held to a 1-1 draw in their first group fixture by underdog the USA. Although there were no major upsets in the first days of play, Japan's 1-0 defeat of Cameroon and draws in the France-Uruguay and South Africa-Mexico fixtures did come as some surprise.

As expected, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil and Argentina - four of the tournament favorites - completed easy victories over Australia, Denmark, North Korea and Argentina.

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