- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
World Cup attracted 150,000 new online gamblers
Belgium's World Cup campaign prompted 150,000 people to try online betting for the first time, according to new figures from the Belgian Gambling Commission.
Bookmakers made a €6.77 million profit from bets on the Red Devils during the tournament. The semi-final loss to France was the most profitable, netting €4.39 million for betting firms. "Everyone bet on a Belgian victory," Betfirst chief executive Alexis Murphy said.
Belgium's match against Tunisia attracted the most bets, totalling €13.5 million - and led to bookmakers making a €1.27 million loss.
This is the first time that the Gambling Commission has measured the impact of a major sporting event on betting activity, using data from in-store terminals and websites.
About half of the 300,000 people who bet money on Belgium's World Cup chances were doing so for the first time, the report said.
A third of World Cup gambling was done in betting shops and the other two thirds online. The average bet was between €15 and €20.
In four out of five cases, gamblers were male. The most common age group was 21-29 year olds.