Football Betting Alive And Well?

May 31, 2009

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John MacKenzie asked:

The introduction of the National Lottery in November 1995 hit the football pools hard. Before Camelot came on the scene the only way to win anywhere near £1million was to get the top dividend on Littlewoods pools.

But, instead of the hassle of trying to predict eight score draws from 10 or more options and wait for your coupon to be collected, you just pick six numbers at the same time as buying your newspaper or shopping at the supermarket. Not only is it easier to enter but you could win almost three or four times the amount of the top pools prize; easy and tempting, even to those who never considered doing the football pools.

By the time the National Lottery celebrated its first anniversary 1,100 workers had lost their jobs at Littlewoods Pools as sales slumped 20 per cent. But, despite over £5billion being wagered on draw tickets in the financial year up to March 2006, the expected long-term demise of football betting has failed to materialise. Because along with the introduction of the lottery came a deregulation of some other areas of the gambling industry, allowing companies to expand in directions they could have only dreamed of prior to the introduction of the weekly draw.

One of those new areas ripe for exploitation was the internet. Although in it’s infancy in 1995, only 11 years later the internet gambling industry is now turning over revenues of almost £6billion a year. And, if you look at who’s heavily involved today you’ll see the familiar names of football pools specialists Vernons and Littlewoods. This renaissance is remarkable and has come about as a result of the willingness of the pools companies to diversify and pursue different areas of revenue; to introduce new and different games to the market.

And there’s also another factor why football betting has continued to grow; Premiership football and Sky TV. The combination of the two has had a huge impact on the betting industry in a way that only the visionaries could have forecast. The Premiership is glamorous, it’s fashionable and it’s bulging with cash. A whole market has developed where punters want to be associated with that glamour by predicting match results and win big.

Now online you can bet on football as you would have in the traditional pools fashion, or just like you can in the bookies. You can also play instant lotto games, bingo, poker, horse and dog betting, sports betting, and much more.

So, despite the ominous signs when the National Lottery was introduced, football betting is alive and well and thriving on the internet and in the bookies.


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