Perfect storm results in big World Cup weekend for bookies

Bookmakers made a killing at the weekend thanks to a string of big upsets in the first round of World Cup matches.

A Brazilian fan

Bookmakers won big when Brazil could only draw their opening match against Switzerland. © Pexels.

Spain, Argentina, Germany and Brazil all failed to win resulting in disappointment for customers, and a huge windfall for sports betting bookmakers.

Betway reported that after the earlier shocks involving Argentina and Germany that crushed a lot of accumulator bets, a wave of punters opted to back Brazil to recoup their losses. The Canarinho were held to a 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

Bet365’s Steve Freeth confirmed that the Stoke-on-Trent-based company had a good weekend in terms of lost bets.

But Alan Alger, of Betway, said that bookies were not celebrating just yet.

There’s a very long way to go yet, but midway through week one you’d have to say that it’s the bookies with a 2-0 lead. Alan Alger, PR for Betway

Freeth also urged caution as it is still early days in the tournament, but commented that, so far, the World Cup in Russia has been kind to online gambling firms.

The Kindred Group, which owns Unibet, 32Red and several other sports betting brands said that Brazil’s draw with Switzerland was one of its top 10 favourable bets for the company. Ali Gill, of Kindred, described how World Cup upsets result in big wings for bookmakers, as punters tend to back favourites strongly.

It wasn’t bad news for all sports betting customers, however. BetVictor, which is running a competition to reward whoever wins the longest odds bet during the World Cup with a £1 million-pound prize, announced that it had a new leader after one customer landed a 3,360/1 to bet.

The 5-way accumulator called the 1-1 draw between Brazil and Switzerland plus Coutinho to score the first goal in the first half, Lichtsteiner to be carded in the first half, over 1.5 cards in the game and Brazil to win more than 6.5 corners.

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