Fresh off the news that Bwin.party had inked a deal with Manchester United and Betfred had done likewise with Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC has struck not one but two bookmaker deals. The first deal enshrines Paddy Power as Liverpool’s official betting partner in the UK, Ireland and Italy, while Asian operator 188Bet – which has been backing Liverpool since 2009 – has extended its role as Liverpool’s official betting partner in the rest of the globe. Both deals are good through the end of the 2013-14 European football season. Liverpool issued a statement saying both its partners will “enjoy an extensive, but distinguished, suite of rights.” The financial terms of either deal were not disclosed.
Demonstrating its admirable capacity for cross-promotion, Paddy Power has also signed a two-year deal with Liverpool’s local rivals Everton FC to become the Blues’ online betting partner in the UK and Ireland. And to help kick off the start of another Premier League season, Paddy’s created a £25k Facebook contest in which fans are asked to pick a winner from one of six matches (with Everton and Liverpool included, natch). Paddy will place £25k on the bet that receives the most votes, and if it pays off, the winnings will be split between everyone who placed a vote. Finally, Paddy has introduced a new text betting service, the ease and speed of which Paddy hopes will attract punters with little time on their hands.
In addition to supporting the UK’s football clubs, those lovable bookies are also providing jobs for young people, especially women. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has released a paper it dubbed Betting on Britain, which indicates that a quarter of bet shop staff are between 18-24 years of age, and 56% of staff are women. That last stat is well ahead of both financial services (27%) and IT (21%). The CEBR report stated that the industry contributed £3.2b on an annual basis to the UK economy, further undermining claims by Mary Portas that bet shops are a “blight” on the high streets of the nation.
Meanwhile, staff at a William Hill shop in Arbroath, Scotland are desperately looking for an unknown punter who has £29,595 coming to him or her after a 50p nine-game footie accumulator paid off in spectacular fashion. The wager – which carried a 64,000:1 shot of winning – was placed last Friday on the following day’s matches, one of three 50p bets the mystery man or woman made that day. But a week later and there’s still no sign of someone walking through the door sporting a £30k woodie. As shop deputy manager Gail McNairn told STV: “It’s so exciting and it’s a waiting game now.”