A UK-based betting industry is warning that scrapping the sports tip competition will be “unacceptable” for all businesses, with businesses in England, Scotland and Wales “fraught with the risk of losing out”.
The sports tipping competitions in the UK were set up by the government to help businesses improve their betting odds.
The aim was to give businesses an extra edge over rivals when betting on sporting events.
But it is being called a “misguided attempt to make a few small bets that can be exploited for profit”.
“Businesses will feel that they are on the verge of being robbed,” said Chris McNeil, a former head of the sports betting industry at Bovey.
“They will feel the loss of revenue.”
McNeil, now managing director of sports betting firm Sports Betting Advisors, said that while betting on sports is important, there is no way of knowing the outcome of the competitions until the games are played.
The betting industry said it has already seen some of the impact of scrapping sports tipping, with more businesses moving to online betting and cutting staff to reduce staff costs.
“Businesss in England are facing a severe blow as the number of people affected by the sports tips are limited to a few dozen individuals,” said Ian Wood, director of research at betting watchdog Ladbrokes.
“But many of these small businesses have been working to keep their odds as high as possible and now that they have been forced to take a hit, some of them are finding it hard to compete.”‘
Risk of loss’There are no hard numbers available about the impact on the betting industry, but the government estimates that a small business could lose £6 million a year if the betting competitions are axed.
Ladbrokes is warning businesses that if the sports tournament is axed, they are likely to see a fall in their odds of winning a bet.
“If a bet is lost and you’re the only one who’s winning, the odds will fall further, potentially making you lose out,” said James Smith, senior research director at Ladbrokers.
“A bet that’s going to be lost will be very risky, but if the only bet is that the betting is not going to go well, then the risk will be significantly reduced.”
The sports betting companies are warning that if these predictions are true, the industry could see its profits drop by £5 million to £50 million.
The government is planning to introduce a “no tip” rule that will limit the number that can win a bet in a sports tournament, and a cap on the amount of money they can win.
The UK is the first country in the EU to introduce this, but some betting industry groups are worried that this may cause more people to lose money in the short term.
“The UK has an excellent track record of having high levels of sports gambling, with record high profits,” said Steve D’Orazio, head of strategy at betting agency LendingClub.
“If it’s not the case that there’s a big drop in revenue that people are going to lose out in, then there’s no reason why there can’t be an overall fall in revenue.”
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