World Cup Betting Set To Smash £1bn Barrier
Bookmakers are expecting to smash betting records for Sunday's Fifa World Cup, as punters embrace placing wagers through mobile devices.
Ladbrokes, Britain's second biggest bookie, has predicted an industry-wide taking for the tournament to break the £1bn barrier.
It said an estimated £40m would be waged with it on Sunday's final, beating the figure gambled on the 2012 Champions League final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
Market leader William Hill said that its prediction of seeing £200m in bets for the full tournament has already been smashed.
The total is double that achieved by it during the 2010 tournament and shows the growth in football betting among younger gamblers who have grown up on a diet of live televised matches.
It said: "On top of the predicted turnover having been obliterated, the pre-tournament forecast of 17 million bets being placed has been broken as well."
It said Germany are 4/6 to win the World Cup while Argentina is at 6/5.
Bookmakers had viewed the World Cup as an opportunity to build market share before the introduction of new taxes over the next year - expected to cost the industry about £400m.
William Hill said the best game for punters was the Brazil v Croatia match, after it enhanced the price of Brazil winning to even money.
On Wednesday, bookies said that four gamblers struck gold after laying money on Germany to beat Brazil by 7-1 in the semi-final.
Meanwhile, the biggest single bet for the market leader was in the group stages when a punter in Nevada put down $350,000 (£200,000) for Argentina to beat Iran.
In addition to a greater turnover compared to the last tournament, the biggest difference is how bets have been placed this year.
Ladbrokes said: "The most memorable thing about this tournament for the industry will be the fact that it has been the biggest event for mobile betting by some way in history.
"That's because a total of 60% of digital bets have been placed via mobile devices."