What Cheltenham meant for bookmakers!

Monday, Mar 28, 2016 10:06

Previously, we guessed 'What Cheltenham means for bookmakers'. This week, we can reveal what the 2016 event truly meant for bookmakers. Every year after Cheltenham, spectators claim that they backed the right horses, and - at the least - that they broke even. Often, this is little but wishful thinking. However, at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, this has rung true for many horse betting fans.

With trainer Willie Mullins horses turning heavily-backed favourites early on and triumphing over the four days of Festival fun, this year’s Cheltenham was expected to be a particularly bad year for bookmakers.

Some early indications and reports suggest that the results may be worse than expected. Bettingexpert.com reports that bookmakers were down an average £3.21 per customer. Considering that millions back at least a single horse, and much more back horses through all four days, this loss is quite significant.

Last year, the loss figure stood at £1.26 per bet. While it is largely accepted that the large drop in profitability year-on-year is due to the heavy backing of Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh, some analysts also confirmed that a number of operators may have struggled with website traffic, and experienced subsequent loss of business.

Capacitas researched the website speed during peak hours and found that William Hill had the slowest page-loading time, while Paddy Power loaded speedily and over 10-times faster than most of its rivals’ sportsbooks.