Friday August 17, 2012 : OLYMPICS GOOD FOR BRIT BOOKIES
Betting up as sports spectacular ends
Sunday night's closing ceremony for the London Olympics ended a golden period for many Brit bookies, who report lively wagering activity over the two week duration of the games.
Betfair told the Telegraph newspaper that it had seen an increase in betting activity, with the total number of customers making bets doubling to just under 100,000. The biggest draw for the group was the men's 100-metre final, which saw 19,000 individual customers placing wagers on the outcome of the race, won in record time by Jamaica's Usain Bolt.
Ladbrokes forecast that the gambling sector will turn over close to GBP 80 million for the two-week period, compared with GBP 4 million from the Beijing Games four years ago, while research from Coral predicted that 3 million people planned to place their first ever bet on the London Olympics.
Gambling on business, the British Government, which has been running a series of business summits to coincide with the Games, has been upbeat about the impact of the Olympics on British business and announced Saturday that deals worth about GBP 14 billion have been unveiled over recent weeks.