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UK Bookies Lose Over £60m on 2016 Cheltenham Festival
- March 24, 2016 By Nemanja L. -
The 2016 Cheltenham Festival was always going to be one of the most heavily bet events of the year and punters from all over the world were quite active during all four days.
And it appears that the majority of those who placed wagers on “The Greatest Show on Turf” emerged victorious as no fewer than nine favourites lived up to the billing, helping quite a few bettors land hefty payouts in the process.
As they summed up results from the 2016 Cheltenham, UK bookmakers didn’t have a lot of reason for optimism considering that combined losses on the horse racing event were over £60 million.
UK bookies were already down some £30m-£40m heading into the final day and they obviously hoped to win some of the money back on Day Four.
Favourites Kept Winning
But, little did they know that they would be in for an additional blow as heavily backed favourites Vautour and Thistlecrack won the Ryanair Chase and World Hurdles respectively.
The biggest event of the final day, the Gold Cup, also saw favourite Don Cossack lift the coveted trophy, adding insult to injury to UK and Irish bookmakers, who will need some time to recover from the second successive Cheltenham Festival where the punters came on top.
The bookies saw around £50 million in losses during the 2015 Cheltenham, and they will be looking towards the end of the football season as well as the Euro 2016 to make amends for the poor results.
Chances are they have already earned substantial amounts of money due to Leicester City emerging as the main candidates for the Premier League title, meaning that all bets on the likes of Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd ended up losing.
Tottenham Hotspur are the only side with a realistic chance of beating the Foxes to the Premiership trophy, but the reality is there were not too many bets placed on Spurs to go all the way.
Website Speed Proves Crucial with Cheltenham Punters
Meanwhile, a software company Capacitas has found that Paddy Power and Coral were the only high-profile bookmakers that ensured their website was in perfect working order during the peak times at Cheltenham, while William Hill, bet365 and Betfair all experienced problems with increased traffic.
Seeing that the website conversion rate decreases significantly with every two seconds of delay, chances are that many punters decided to switch to faster sites, which may have suffered greater losses as a result, but could definitely profit in the long run.
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