UK bookie William Hill scored a Christmas own goal as they were forced to refund bets taken on this year’s EastEnders whodunnit. The Christmas Day episode of the soap is synonymous with controversy and deaths seem to happen on an almost yearly basis. Villain of the piece Derek Branning was the man to exit the soap over this year’s festive period and after he keeled over from a heart attack, Hills were forced to pay out on those that had bet on him being responsible for his own death. William Hill spokesperson Joe Crilly commented: “Derek had enough enemies to justify his murder, but it seemed that nature did everyone a favour. Years of tough living took their toll and so we paid out on him and refunded on everyone else.”
Ladbrokes reportedly took a seven-figure hit on five separate occasions in 2012 with Sports Personality of the Year giving the final multi-million-pound hit of a less than lucrative year. The Sun report that Bradley Wiggins’ triumph in the BBC viewers poll cost them a round £2million with Sergio Aguero’s strike that won Man City the Premier League title costing them a huge £5m. There was also the European Ryder Cup win, Tour de France victory for Wiggins, and perennial runner up Andy Murray winning Olympic Gold and his first major at the US Open. His Wimbledon final loss to Roger Federer did give them some respite and the bookies must be crossing their fingers that no Olympic Games in 2012 gives them a smoother ride.
A Betfred shop near Manchester suffered the worst Christmas present after a man armed with an air pistol robbed them blind. The man threatened staff in the shop in Prestwick and fled with a small amount of cash from the shop shortly before 11 a.m. on Dec. 21. The offender left the pistol at the scene and police are now searching for a man in his early to mid-30s who got away on a bicycle.