The international online betting exchange Betfair has published an interesting statistical snapshot of the gambling action during the recently completed FIFA World Cup football championship in South Africa.
 
The numbers published by Betfair, which has 3 million customers in 170 countries, have to be regarded as a good indication of World Cup betting action overall.
 
The report showcases the rising importance of in-play betting, which accounted for 49 percent of all wagers versus 51 percent of bets placed pre-kick-offs. That's an impressive 38 percent growth in in-play action since the last World Cup in 2006.
 
It correlates with a 1 000 percent increase in mobile phone bets since 2006 – Betfair took 500 000 bets via this medium during the big event.
 
UK punters alone laid down over GBP 1 billion in bets on the 32 teams competing in the World Cup, but the most successful punters were from Norway (28 percent), Ireland (27 percent) and Malaysia (26 percent despite the massive police drives to eradicate WC betting in that country).
 
The top 5 games on which gamblers laid bets were:
 
The World Cup Winner market;
Germany vs. Spain;
Spain vs. Netherlands;
Uruguay vs. Netherlands;
Germany vs. England.