Brits are expected to have wagered £2.5 billion on the World Cup before the tournament ends on Sunday. That would represent a 50% increase on the last World Cup, held in Brazil in 2014. The scale of the increase will alarm campaigners and intensify calls for a crackdown on betting adverts, according to The Times.
William Hill received a backlash on Twitter for “hijacking” England’s World Cup quarter-final celebrations by sponsoring a popular hashtag. Millions of fans had been Tweeting #ItsComingHome in reference to an iconic 1996 song about the national team’s chances of success. A William Hill emoji would appear with the hashtag, and anti-gambling types soon reacted with fury. William Hill’s head of social Richard Bloch said: “We began a Twitter campaign at the start of the World Cup which kicked off in early June. The hashtags we chose were purposefully selected to run alongside our World Cup marketing campaigns and were aimed at our core demographic. With England progressing to the semi-finals the William Hill branded emoji that accompanied the #itscominghome has now been switched to an unbranded St George’s cross – let’s hope they can bring back the World Cup.” Read more at Campaign Live.
Ladbrokes has been criticised for misleading the UK Gambling Commission in an investigation over the notorious Black Dave case. Trainer David Evans was hit by a fine last year for delaying notification of a non-runner, Tango Sky, so that he could lump on his other runner, Black Dave, before the odds shortened. He placed a £6,000 bet with Ladbrokes, and when a Ladbrokes trader discovered why Evans had placed such a large bet on Black Dave, he shortened the price of Tango Sky from 7-2 to 3-1, leading to a Rule 4 deduction. The Commission decided Ladbrokes did so “in order to maximise Rule 4 deductions” from winning bets already placed, and that Ladbrokes “had failed to appropriately review all information available to them prior to initially providing … inaccurate explanations.” Ladbrokes saved a mere £7.70 by doing so, but it escaped punishment because its actions did not amount to a breach of the Commission’s licence conditions. The Commission called it an “important lesson” about Rule 4 deductions, and you can read all about them on its website.
Paddy Power said that one of its customers turned a £20 stake into a £99,840 payout by correctly predicting the scores of all four World Cup quarter-finals. It said the punter, a sexagenarian living in Surrey, backed France to beat Uruguay 2-0, Belgium to beat Brazil 2-1, England to beat Sweden 2-0 and Russia to draw 1-1 with Croatia in normal time. All four paid off and the customer “must really be loving this World Cup now”, said Paddy Power on its website.
Bet Victor is running a promotion whereby it will give away £1 million to the punter that gets the highest odds on a winning bet at the World Cup. A Scottish punter must have thought he was quids in after sitting at the top of the leader board throughout the tournament. He scooped £12,721 from his inspired £1 bet after a combination of corners, cards and goals from Paulinho and Thiago Silva led Brazil to a 2-0 win over Serbia in the group stage. But a new leader emerged in Uruguay’s game with Russia. He predicting a 2-1 win for Uruguay, the exact number of corners for both teams, and that Uruguay not to receive a card. His £1 bet came in at odds of 17,024/1, and he now stands to scoop the £1 million jackpot unless someone can topple him in the remaining games. Read more at The Sun.