This years World Cup is shaping up to be the biggest gambling event in history. Media Man and Gambling911 check out the field with this special report...
Potentially billions, likely multi millions, will be wagered n the 2010 World Cup. AUD, CAN, FR, DE, USD...et al... all four corners of the world.
The timing of the games and the super marketing and media machine is tipped to drive the massive betting. Cafes from South Africa, to Vegas, South America, Bondi Beach and beyond are a buzz with soccer fever, and everyone looking for where the "smart money" is.
$AU1.5 billion - $AU3 billion turnover
How much illegal betting occurs this year is anyones guess a Media Man spokesperson said.
"This is going to be a massive betting year for us," tells Mr Graham Sharpe, spokesman for Britain-based bookie William Hill.
"Almost by definition, turnover increases exponentially every four years. We are very optimistic that there will be 1 billion or more pounds bet with British bookmakers."
Sharpe points to England's presence in the tournament fueling the bets. He said "even though we expect (England) to go out in the quarterfinal or semifinal as they usually do."
Leading scorers bets remain popular. Who will be ahead at a certain point in a particular game, the time of the first goal scored and the first player to be seriously injured!
"It used to be big to bet on what color David Beckham's hair would be," Sharpe said. "There are easily hundreds and possibly into the thousands of possible bets to make."
Mr Ed Randall, a former casino manager and now a marketing executive in London, has been "gambling since I was old enough to get into betting shops" and expects to make 30 - 40 different wagers, risking a total of about $1000, by the time the tourney is done. He's picking Germany - currently at 14-to-1 odds - to win it all. Spain, at 4 to 1, is the current favourite.
"For the outright winner, it is more of a gut feeling," he said. "They have a strong defence, talented young midfielders and good scorers. And you can never write off the Germans."
Even at 80 to 1, the "US could do well, too," he added. "It is underrated by a lot of people, especially in England."
Randall is also putting 50 - at 66 to 1 - behind Antonio di Natale of Italy to become the tournament's top scorer.
Australian punters are expected to be in the top 3 betting spend countries.
Readers, as always bet with your head, not over it, and have fun...and No Riots!
Network Nine Australia: 60 Minutes report on Harry Kewell (text and multimedia)
*The writer is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. The gaming sector is just one of a bakers of dozen of industries they cover.
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