Offshore bookies bloodbath

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Bookmakers targeting the American recreational market reported their worst ever results on last weekend, when 14 out of 15 favorites in NFL\’s match-ups won with 11 of those teams covering their handicap.

BetonSports publicly stated a loss of over US$3m, while another operator, VIP Sports, suffered losses in the hundreds of thousands. “It was the worst day since Frankie Dettori rode all seven winners at Ascot in 1996,” David Carruthers CEO of BetonSports said. “We\’ve been in the business since 1997 and that was the worst day ever in our biggest sport,” Alistair Assheton, CEO of VIP Sports, said.

Bill Nevin, head of sports at Bet USA, said: “It was absolute carnage.” Another major bookmaker owner, who asked not to be named, said: ” Profit levels have generally been below expectations and it is tough going.”

Recent weeks have seen an unusually huge level of favorites and public teams winning in NFL, which is by some distance the US’ largest betting market. This has been compounded by the strike in the NHL, which although a more marginal betting market has still led to a decrease in wagering turnover. Rumors do not suggest that any of the major operations are having financial problems, but industry insiders are predicting some of the smaller books, with relatively high overheads, are likely to suffer and will be left in serious financial troubles.