It’s coming home? Well, it might well come home but do not expect the bookmaking industry to celebrate too much! Punters have been backing England to win the Russian World Cup since February 2015 and the payout expected if the Three Lions will land glory is expected to be huge.
Latest estimates say that the bookmaking industry is set to lose £100 million if England will lift the World Cup. At the moment of writing we don’t know if they will be successful against Croatia but the Three Lions are only 3/1 to win the tournament. The problem for bookmakers is that they haven’t always been that short. In fact betting sites have been taking bets on England to win this tournament since long time and at a lofty price of 25/1. In terms of volumes things are not going better as Gareth Southgate’s squad are the most backed outright.
France liability is also rather big but surely England is much higher with more and more punters coming in to back the Three Lions things are unlikely to get any better.
Since the Panama game it has been a consistent flow of patriotic punters that have been backing Kane and company to go the whole way in Russia. As if this wasn’t enough it is not just the outright betting that is concerning the traders: since the opener against Tunisia bookmakers have taken hits on every single England game. So if England will win the last two matches and even worse if they will do so in 90 minutes and with Kane in scoring form the additional loss of cash will be very significant.
So, don’t be surprised if bookmakers will not be joining in the street party celebrations if Southgate’s men will bring football home. CasinoBiggestBonus’s Finance Director Mark Vighan said: ‘It is interesting to see that current defensive pricing is not making England fans tired of backing the Three Lions. The industry is really worried as things stands as a 9 figure loss will basically ruin the whole year if not more. Many bookmakers have been hoping to cross sell some of those customers to Casino in the hope to recover some cash. This strategy has only been partially successful and surely it will not resolve the problem for bookies if England will win the title’.
But if ‘Football will come home’ it is not just the bookmakers industry that will suffer. As mentioned by the Financial Times is an estimate that it will cost £2bn to the UK economy if an extra bank holiday will be given if the England squad will return as heroes.
Vighan also added: ‘even if there has been a huge amount of optimism in the England team only in the last few weeks people have started to believe that this success can realistically happen. As a result we have seen in the last few weeks a huge amount of bets placed on England to win the World Cup compared with the odds available. As the price was too high vs the volumes this has caused that many bookmakers found themselves with a big liability and it is not an easy one to reduce.
Some bookmakers have also made things worse by running some money-back offers before the tournament. Others bookmakers have tried to lure in new customers by running crazy enhanced odds offers such as 40/1 England to beat Sweden and similar. It is therefore not surprising to see that even the most promotion-conservative bookies like Bet365 are claiming to have a liability of around £10M if England will win the World Cup.