Bookmaker News – McCoy win caps bad week for layers

December 20, 2010 | In: Articles

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for bookmakers. Matt Cardle landed the odds in X Factor and Kara Tointon had been very well supported in Strictly Come Dancing over the last few weeks, even though my ante-post fancy Matt Baker clung on to favouritism right up to the result of the viewers’ poll. So the confirmation of Tony McCoy as BBC Sports Personality of the Year has meant most layers are heading into Christmas with a frown on their face, no doubt accenuated by the appalling British weather which continues to decimate the football, rugby union and racing programmes and reduce the opportunity for bookmakers to get some of their money back. Ladbrokes admit to paying out over £100,000 on McCoy’s success after the 15-times champion jockey justified odds of 4/6 on the day to take the prestigious prize. The Irishman, the best backed winner in the event’s history, had been much shorter in the betting but several late gambles forced his price out. Ladbrokes have been paying out with a smile, however, and a spokesman said, “We’ve lost a fair few quid but we couldn’t care one bit. McCoy’s victory is wonderful news for racing and we’re over the moon for him. For once, the money we’ve lost is irrelevant.” World darts champion Phil Taylor finished second, while heptathlete Jessica Ennis was third for the second year in succession. Andy Murray is most layers’ idea of favourite for the 2011 Sports Personality of Year, though he can be backed at 6/1 with William Hill. David Haye is 8/1 with Stan James and Lewis Hamilton priced at 12/1 with Stan James and Paddy Power. McCoy is 33/1 with Stan James and William Hill to retain his trophy.

William Hill have been in the news in Ireland after announcing they are to shed 85 jobs when 20 shops close in March. The decision affects offices in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Tralee and Wexford, and though alternative employment will be offered wherever possible, it is doubtful everyone affected will be found new positions within the company. Ladbrokes, meanwhile, may be about to expand their empire. Talks are under way regarding a takeover of internet casino and poker group 888 holdings, four years after a similar offer was withdrawn over concerns 888 was to be the subject of a crackdown on online gambling by the US Department of Justice.

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