Apparently, the bookies are crying into their beer about having to pay out on Leicester's footballing success. The BBC reports:
The betting industry is licking its financial wounds.
"In the history of betting, certainly since it was legalised in 1961, a [single event] winner with odds of 5,000-1 has never happened," says Simon Clare from the betting firm Coral. "Every bookmaker is crying out in pain."
"That's a barometer of what Leicester have done and just how amazing this win is."Jessica Bridges from rival Ladbrokes agrees.
"This is the biggest sporting upset of all time. We've all got a bit of egg on our face."
Bookmakers have been cheering Leicester's success, whilst simultaneously putting their hands in their collective pockets.
Aye, sure. In reality, most bookmakers are happy to pay out on the occasional long-odds winner. As any serious punter will tell you, bookies only get hurt when the favourites win. For every lucky punter who backed Leicester, think of the many thousands putting money on the likes of Manchester Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal - on which bets the bookies did not have to pay out.
The one thing you can be sure of: whatever the result, the bookies will bemoan their fate.
The Guardian agrees:
Football backers are creatures of habit. They like to bet the “big” teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool, and they try to overcome the inevitable short odds by stitching their fortunes together in accumulator bets. If just one team fails to win, the whole bet goes down, and this season, the big names have all been failing with metronomic regularity.
The collective underperformance of the “big” teams is evident in the placed runners behind Leicester. Tottenham started the campaign at 150-1, while West Ham, who could yet sneak into the top four, were 3,000-1.
Alex Donohue, who handles Ladbrokes’ football PR, acknowledged this point on Tuesday. “It’s a falsehood if any bookie says they have lost money overall on Leicester,” Donohue said on Twitter. “£3m is a record net payout for a title winner, but we did well out of Leicester upsetting the odds to get there. No complaints at all.”
The bookies may have made a net loss on the outright “win” market for the Premier League, but that liability was handsomely offset by their winnings from the results of the 380 matches, on the weekend coupons and Sunday’s high-profile televised games in particular.