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Bookies recoup losses


Football continues to be betting operators' growth market but they took a big hit in late autumn when they had to make a series of big pay outs to punters.   A consistent run of victories for the top ten Premier League clubs hurt bookmakers, made worse by the number of accumulator bets being won.

The worst weekend was November 19 and 20 when virtually every heavily backed team in England and Scotland won.   The total loss to bookmakers was estimated at £20m.  William Hill paid out €683,000 to a punter form Malta who placed €1 on a series of multiple bets over the weekend.   It also paid out €540,000 on an accumulator bet.

However, shock defeats for Manchester United and Chelsea on New Year's Eve plus an unusual collection of draws in the Premier League on Boxing Day helped the industry claw back income over the Christmas period.   However, those gains will only partly offset the quarter's losses.  Results this year may be affected by higher costs and weaker disposable income.