THE World Cup was the biggest ever betting event for bookmakers with €1.2 billion staked in Ireland and Britain.
Ladbrokes said business was slightly up on the 2006 World Cup, which was a record-breaking event too.
Bookmakers said even more would have been bet by punters if Ireland had been in the competition.
It is estimated that up to€30 million was bet by Irish punters during the tournament.
Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams said in Ireland, specifically, turnover was dented by the lack of the Irish presence in the tournament.
“We could’ve expected to see turnover up by 30% to 40% but Thierry Henry put paid to that. Even so, a marketing plan across our Irish estate ‘Anyone But The French’ worked really well for Irish punters who were encouraged to bet against the French.
“Of course they flopped tremendously and so Irish customers enjoyed some rare profits in the group stages. Outside Ireland, the group stages were a bit of a bloodbath for the punters,” he said.
Mr Williams said the latter stages of the tournament were mixed.
He said that Spain were the favourites before the tournament but as it progressed, the likes of Argentina and then Germany gathered much more betting momentum.
“And, of course, the early exit of England was good news to Ladbrokes,” he said.
“In the final, turnover matched the 2006 Final and we ended up having no overall complaints with the figures on the tourney. It was good to the bookies on balance,” he said.
Paddy Power spokeswoman Sharon McHugh said they were relieved that England didn’t win as that would have triggered a €60 million payout.
“The World Cup proved to be the biggest betting event of all time as anticipated with bookies collectively hitting the £1 billion barrier on the tournament for turnover across the UK and Ireland,” she said.
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