Sports betting could be one of the biggest beneficiaries from the London 2012 Olympic games with the industry experiencing anything up to 5% growth as a result. When you talk of betting and the Olympics most people will immediately jump to the conclusion that corruption or fixing will be there somewhere. What many of these articles don’t mention is that the games are taking place in one of the best regulatory regimes in terms of betting on the planet. It’s no wonder that so many firms are champing at the bit to gain a licence in a country where sports betting is part of the lifeblood of a number of sporting institutions.
The rise coming from the Olympics being hosted could be 5% of the next three years. The reason for the increase rise is given by Sheffield Hallam University’s Sports Industry Research Centre (SIRC) as the “Olympics effect” and is alongside a number of other sectors that will see an increase. This includes sports clothing, a rise in boating activities and modest increases in local sports participation.
The Independent article sought advice from Matt Bullas from betting comparison website Chips.co.uk, who commented: “The 2010 World Cup brought in £1 billion in bets in the UK alone. It isn’t too far-fetched to think that the Olympics could have a similar effect in 2012.”
Bullas’ statement is optimistic to say the least. A World Cup is a very different beast compared to an Olympic game. Every game at the World Cup sees unprecedented numbers wagering on games whilst there will be sports in the summer games that will see no wagering whatsoever. The Olympics does have one advantage – it won’t be up against the European Championship but if everyone’s spent their money earlier in the summer these predictions could be a little hasty.