[June 7] According to Internet bookmakers
William Hill, the
Euro 2000 soccer tournament starting Saturday
will be the biggest betting event of all time.
Worldwide, gamblers are expected to bet more
than £150 million ($226 million) on the
tournament’s outcome — and this may be a
“Easy access to Internet betting has transformed
the boundaries of the gambling industry,” said
William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.
Sharpe added that even countries with no domestic
betting facilities of their own can place
instant tax-free wagers on the Web.
On the Internet, gamblers can now bet on
all aspects of the game rather than just the
conventional win-lose-draw. For example, which
country will be the first to have a player sent
off? William Hill puts Belgium at the top of the
list with odds of 11/2, but Sweden at 13/2 and
Turkey at 7/1 are not far behind.
As for the winners, William Hill latest
odds for the sixteen finalists are 10/3 Holland,
9/2 France, 11/2 Spain, 6/1 Italy, 9/1 England,
12/1 Germany, 16/1 Belgium, Czech Rep., 20/1 Sweden,
22/1 Portugal, 25/1 Norway, 33/1 Yugoslavia,
40/1 Denmark, Romania; 66/1 Turkey, and 150/1
Internet betting is a sector in which British
firms have found success, with companies such
expanding worldwide. The huge popularity of English
and European football in the Far East is one
of the major factors contributing to the growth
of Internet betting.
Far less certain is whether the England players
will win Euro 2000, although William Hill says at least
one German client stands to win £70,000 if