No normal Monday: surge in betting turnover as punters welcome return of racing
The value of racing to the betting industry was highlighted in no uncertain terms on day one of the resumption, with sports-starved bettors flocking to online betting platforms to punt on Newcastle's Monday card.
Betting firms reported turnover was up on a typical Monday.
Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: "The return of British racing has been welcomed with open arms by our regular racing customers and has proved just how much people have missed live sport.
"Turnover levels were decent and higher than we’d expect for a normal Monday. It was a mixed bag of results for punters but wins for Brian The Snail at Newcastle and Victor Ludorum in France ensured bookies didn't have it all their own way."
The digital-facing betting firms also enjoyed a huge upturn and Barry Orr of Betfair reported: "The Betfair Exchange matched volumes were very strong with an average of around £1m matched per race. As you can imagine, for a Monday in June that represents a sizeable increase on the usual level of activity for a similar card pre-lockdown."
Bet365's Pat Cooney said: "It's been better than a typical Monday, and that's been race-by-race. It was helped by the fact that, at the time of the first race, we had 120 runners and no non-runners. With 72-hour decs, and then the sport getting the go-ahead, punters have had a long, leisurely look and we were very pleased with the levels of business. It's certainly not a forgotten product."
With a dearth of live sport for British fans in recent months and a lack of competition, racing took centre stage on the Sky Sports main event channel and Cooney added: "Throw in the two Classics at Deauville and there was something for everyone. We were pleased with all levels of business and hopefully it's onwards and upwards from here."
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