As England slumped to second place in Group B, the bookmakers will no doubt rejoice as the overwhelming favourites were held to a goalless draw against Slovakia.
With misfiring favourites, surprise goal-scorers and multiple late goals, Euro 2016 can be seen as a bookmaker’s dream and England’s results are far from an exception.
With bookmaker William Hill reportedly pocketing £2 million and avoiding £5 million in pay-outs thanks to Russia’s injury time equaliser in England’s first fixture, the UK bookmakers reportedly saved a total of £20 million in pay-outs. However, fans were given something to cheer about as Daniel Sturridge’s last minute winner against Wales proved decisive in a match that was estimated to take in an industry-wide total of £35 million, with England being backed as overwhelming favourites.
With £20 million estimated to have been placed on England’s final match against Slovakia the bookmaker’s profited once more as England, placed at 39/50 favourites by Unibet going into the match, were ultimately held. One small consolation for the punter is that Ladbrokes’ ‘Money Back If It’s A Draw’ and also Bet365’s ‘Bore Draw Money Back’ offer had been triggered, adding to the £4 million they have already refunded on the previous three goalless affairs in the competition.
To add to customers’ woes after England’s final match, Wales’ victory meant they finished top of Group B, a group which England were favourites with William Hill offering odds of 1/4 before the tournament kicked off. There is still much to play for as far as England’s progress is concerned. Current SkyBet odds value them at 2/7 to reach the quarter finals before their last-16 opponents have even been announced.
England’s results have ultimately profited the bookmaker at the expense of the punter. Draws against Russia and Slovakia have meant smaller pay-outs, however, a significant disbursement in favour of the consumer after victory over Wales has meant that England’s betting campaign has not been completely one-sided.
Nevertheless, due to topping the group and with newly reduced odds of 40/1 to win the overall championship, punters might be more tempted to place their money on Wales in the future.