SBC Bookies Corner: Why Love Island will tear us apart….again!

This summer’s most important betting market is about to commence… Russia 2018 – No Chance! ITV2’s new season of Love Island will begin on Monday 4 June, with the reality show expecting to dominate all UK entertainment and social media coverage!

SBC Bookies’ Corner gets the full lowdown on pricing and predicting Love Island 2018…


SBC: Is it harder to predict the winning couple of ITV2’s Love Island, than it is to predict the winner of World Cup Russia 2018? 

Amy Jones – Paddy Power

Amy Jones (PR & Mischief @ Paddy Power):  At present we’ve taken 90% more in ‘pre-event wagers’ on this season’s Love Island than on last year already, and what I would say is that with regards to the World Cup… There’s always previous form to go by.

With Love Island, bookmakers have no idea who the stars of the show will turn out to be.

In Russia 2018, while we don’t totally know, there will always be some recurring names and teams who pop up (Germany, I’m looking at you!). So, we generally have a better grasp on who has the better players and is more likely to win.

At the moment, the Islanders entering the villa are totally anonymous to us, bar Danny Dyer’s daughter Dani Dyer (that is her actual name!), and that makes it tougher to predict who will win the eventual crown.

Furthermore, Love Island is on for double the amount of time of the WC, so it’s more likely that things can change! 

Harry Aitkenhead – Coral

SBC: As a bookmaker, what unique traits/dynamics are you looking for in Love Island contestants? What is in the make-up of a Love Island winner?

Harry Aitkenhead (PR @ Coral): It’s difficult to say what will make a likely Love Island winner but we’ll be looking out for people who stand out early on through being a bit controversial as that will normally attract support with votes and betting.

Dani Dyer seems a good example of this already who seems popular from her early clips, and new contestants who are prepared to come in and ruffle a few feathers are likely to prove popular.

It’s also quite likely that people who couple up with a few different housemates through the series, it never seems to be that popular if things get repetitive and last year Kem winning was a good example of that. So the potential winner will certainly need a ruthless streak to stay in the villa throughout.

Katie Bayliss – Betfair

SBC: How do you monitor or price a market such as Love Island in which daily gossip and rumour are an integral part of the show’s coverage and public engagement?

Katie Bayliss (Media Relations – Betfair):  Pricing up a market for a reality show like Love Island is based on quite a few factors and the gossip and speculation from fans of the show and the media contributes to what odds we set.

Of course, we also watch the show and have our own opinions on the contestants and after years of many shows like Love Island, our novelties traders are very experienced at making a call on who the public will like and won’t like.I would go to saying that many of them are massive fans of the show, so they quite enjoy this time of year when watching reality TV is something they can do at their desks during the day – for work purposes of course.

Tom Marriott – SiTA

SBC: What can betting markets and stakeholders learn from Love Islands success and engagement with the general public?

Tom Marriott (Square in the Air – PR): It may not hold quite the same importance as the World Cup for the betting industry but when something catches the public’s attention like Love Island you’ve got to sit up and take notice.

Newspapers, websites and social channels are set to be filled with Love Island stories over the coming weeks and that represents a potential window for bookmakers to display their offerings.

Bookies’ odds provide the media with a source of information and guidance as to the chances of the show’s hopefuls and, just with the likes of The X Factor and I’m A Celeb… in years gone by, we tend to have a lot of success with increasing our clients’ exposure during these events.”


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