In preparation for World Cup 2018, Russian punters start to be more involved with the betting scene as many take advantage of the current gambling trend.
Betting often involves heavy calculation before any wager is placed, as some might very well regard it a science. However, in this year’s World Cup in Brazil we have been able to witness people place bets without taking into account statistical odds, but rather depend on absolute luck.
For the truly brave punters, placing bets that were out of the ordinary meant that they were able to claim huge prizes from their somewhat obscure and unconventional bets.
Sports betting an increasing trend in Russia
Oleg Zhuravsky, the president of the Russian Bookmakers Union, said that the World Cup enticed Russian punters to gamble more. He stated that up to 50% more people bet on football than before the tournament commenced.
Considering that many of the big and popular teams who were regarded as favorites and were expected to perform well, stunned the world with their early exists. For bettors that were sure of their favorite teams wining, were left greatly disappointed. Statistics and special calculations did not serve them at all, for football is ever changing.
•50% more Russians bet on football than before WC
•Sports betting increasing on the rise in Russia
•WC favorites suffer early elimination
However, gamblers that actually had the guts to go against the tide and ignore criticism for their betting preferences, were the ones that ended up the true winners in the end.
Zhuravsky remarked that online sportsbooks in Russia saw a substantial increase in profits due to the early and unexpected exists of the favorites. However, he said that throughout the competition and especially towards the end of the World Cup the profits start decreasing and the earnings level out.
“The task of a bookmaker is to make a 5 to 10 percent profit on the invested funds regardless of which teams win.”
Despite being relatively new in the Russian market, the bookmaking industry is starting to experience a considerable increase in betting standards. People on average bet 800 rubles ($23) in sports in general, while World Cup bets in Britain stand at around GBP 12 ($20).
Political engagement in sport leads to betting increase
Gambling news reports that the bookmakers industry saw a substantial growth in the world’s biggest country. Zhuravsky believes that Russian sportsbooks recorded an increase in revenue earnings from $400 million to over $2 billion over the period of last five years. He doesn’t believe that the great results are linked to the casino gambling ban imposed in 2009.
The union president also remarked that sports betting is a different form of gambling than the traditional casino, as players have to possess background knowledge and analytical mindset.
“It is a different approach to the way we spend leisure time that has developed recently. You not only watch a good game on the dozens of channels that are now available, but you can also profit from putting your own brain to good use.”
Zhuravsky is confident that the bookmaking industry is on the rise due to the government’s greater involvement in sports, especially since the 2018 World Cup will be hosted in Russia.
“The interest to sport is high at all levels of the government. We were all anxious before the Olympics and are now looking forward to the 2018 football World Cup. This is what is driving the bookmakers’ business.”
Shock exists from World Cup
Joe Crilly, spokesperson for William Hill, commented, “One punter bet 50 euros ($68) that Costa Rica will win the tournament at odds of 2,500/1 and that bet is looking a lot less like a long shot now than it did at the start of the tournament.”
Crilly also added that it is good for bookmakers when favorites reach a certain level at the competition and then are eliminated right before the final stages. “But we always say that it is best for us if some of these fancied sides get further in the tournament and then fall at the penultimate of final hurdle.”
World Cup 2014 expert predictions have shown that previous data is rubbish when it comes to picking the right winners. Many experts didn’t predict that England, Italy and previous champions Spain would crash out of the tournament do soon.