Czech betting firms win big at World Cup

Photo: archive of Czech Radio

While German football fans are basking in their country’s fourth world title, the World Cup has also been a huge success for some Czechs despite the fact their national team failed to qualify for the event. The World Cup in Brazil was the single most successful event for Czech betting firms which took in bets worth over 1.1 billion crowns.

Photo: archive of Czech Radio
The World Cup final which saw Germany finally outplay the rugged Argentinian defence, drew the highest number of bets from Czech punters. The Czech Republic’s largest betting firm, Tipsport, accepted bets worth 25 million crowns on Sunday’s final; the second largest player on the Czech sports betting market, Fortuna, meanwhile, took in bets worth around 15 million crowns.

The two firms report receipts of around 1.1 billion crowns, or some 54 million US dollars for the duration of the World Cup; Tipsport’s bookmakers took in 600 million crowns, a spokesman for the company told the news agency ČTK on Monday, while bets worth over 500 million were placed with Fortuna.

For Czech betters, the World Cup matches featuring Germany as well as Brazil, Argentina and the Netherlands were the most popular draw. But Germany also caused one of the biggest disappointments when they drew 2:2 against Ghana in one of their group-stage appearances. “That draw turned some half a million betting slips into worthless pieces of paper,” said Tipsport spokesman Jan Hadrava.

Overall, Czech punters did better in the opening stages of the tournament. But when some of the traditionally strong sides such as Spain and Italy began losing points in draws and defeats, bookmakers prevailed and continued to edge betters in the tournament’s knock-out stage.

But despite all this, some punters did extremely well. On 20 occasions, Tipsport paid out winnings exceeding one million crowns. Fortuna, meanwhile, reports that the highest winnings reached 2.23 million. Also, one of Fortuna’s clients correctly predicted the results of all four quarterfinal results. His bet of 300 crowns, or 15 US dollars, against the odds of 3588:1 made him 1.076 million crowns.

For Czech betting firms, the season has been great so far. Bets on the World Cup, the hockey world championships in Belarus, the Sochi Olympics, and the Wimbledon tennis tournament have exceeded 2.7 billion crowns.