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Kevin Smith

Sporting Odds & Ends - June 2005

22 June 2005 Releases Odds for WSOP

Linemakers with leading online betting site released futures odds on who will win the Main Event at the World Series of Poker next month in Las Vegas.

Oddsmakers favor poker superstars Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu at 200/1. Top players Phil Hellmuth, Howard Lederer, Gus Hansen, Chris Ferguson and Erick Lindgren follow at 225/1.

"With the incredible growth of poker, our players have been clamoring for wagers on the WSOP," said Calvin Ayre, Founder and CEO of "It really brings together two of our great strengths – event wagering and poker." is poised to make a big splash at the 2005 World Series of Poker. In addition to fielding the 70-member Team Bodog and offering odds, the site will host the Poker & Sports Marketing Conference in Las Vegas on July 6 and 7.

Ladbrokes Suffers Blow in Sweden

Officials with Ladbrokes were lamenting a Swedish Supreme Court ruling this week that could impact the groups business in the region.

The court ruled on Tuesday to rejected Ladbrokes' appeal against the government's decision not to allow the company to run its gambling operations from Sweden.

Ladbrokes had been challenging the Swedish gaming monopoly, whereby the only companies allowed to offer gambling services are state-owned Svenska Spel and ATG.

The court ruled that EU law allowed countries to regulate the gaming industry for the purpose of protecting players and maintaining social order. The company does not have the right to appeal the ruling, although the company said it plans to file a case with the European Commission.

Ukbetting Adds Games Provided by Electracade

On Tuesday officials with Ukbetting announced the addition of more than 10 new online games to its site thanks to a partnership with Orbis Technology gambling systems and game development specialist, Electracade Ltd.

The site rolled out four new products on both the and websites. The Orbis OpenBet system gives the company total control over their gaming content and provides them with access to all of the Orbis gaming partners' content, as well as the flexibility to monitor and fine tune game performance and payouts.

Bookmakers Sent Reeling After F1 Debacle

The chaos that surrounded last weekend's U.S. Grand Prix hit British betting shops.

Some operators agreed to give refunds to punters, while others said the race was official and still others said they were waiting to decide what to do with thousands of betting slips.

Fernando Alonso, the championship leader, and Kimi Räikkönen, his main rival didn't compete in the race after a group of teams boycotted the race in a sign of protest over the use of unsafe tires.

There was a flood of money for Michael Schumacher, the winner, and drivers with Minardi and Jordan as word got out that a boycott was in prospect and only three teams would run.

Tiago Monteiro was a 2,000-1 long shot who came good with his third place for Jordan and many punters picked up winnings from the first Portuguese driver to get on to a Formula One podium — even if he was in a race of only six cars.

Leading bookmakers, such as William Hill and Ladbrokes, decided to stick to the Formula One rule that cars that take part in the parade lap had started the race, which meant that thousands who backed Räikkönen and Alonso lost their money.

Other bookmakers (Ladbrokes and declared the race null and void and handed back bets.

Betfair's Profit Gets Boosts with Floatation Speculation

Betfair, the world's biggest person-to-person betting exchange, posted an 87 percent rise in underlying full-year profit amid growing speculation of a stock market flotation.

The company, which saw its profits soar to £22.3 million in the year to April 30 on revenues that were up 61 percent to £107 million from £66.7 million, is rumored to be looking to appoint advisors within the next few weeks ahead of a possible flotation.

Betfair has declined to comment on a flotation, which is estimated will put a value of between £700 million and £800 million on the firm.

The group's annual report also shows that Stephen Hill, a former chief executive of the Financial Times Group and chief executive of Betfair, stands to receive around 3.13 million shares in an employee benefit trust put into his name. His pay last year jumped 21 percent to £325,000.

Odds Placed on Sorrenstam to Win Grand Slam

With Tiger Woods failing to cash in at the U.S. Open, only Annika Sorenstam is left to win a Grand Slam in professional golf in 2005.

Officials with released odds this week on Sorenstam's chances to finish the slam, which she will look to continue this week at the U.S. Women's Open at Cherry Hills.

Although she’s an overwhelming favorite to capture her third U.S. Open title, still lists Sorenstam as an underdog to complete the Grand Slam this year.

Sorenstam is a 6/5 favorite to win her third major this year at the U.S. Women's Open, which would put her just one championship short of the Grand Slam. Although she'll likely be the favorite at July's Weetabix Women's British Open, has made Sorenstam an 11/4 long shot to become the first Grand Slam winner in golf history.

Cabron Urged to Extend Betting Shop Hours in the UK

Sports minister Richard Caborn is being urged to give rein to legislation that would allow betting shops to open from mid-morning to late evening all year round well in advance of the anticipated date of September 2007.

BHB chief executive Greg Nichols said that he was in touch with the minister, and would raise the issue of extended opening hours, which at the moment only apply from April to the end of August, during one of their regular discussions next month.

The Association of British Bookmakers pointed out that much of the lobby for relaxation of betting-shop hours was being driven by racing and racecourse companies looking to justify their investment in all-weather, floodlit tracks.

Sporting Odds & Ends - June 2005 is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith