Lee Richardson- EIG Berlin Report Part 2 – World Cup 2014 – Further Match & Betting Insights

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Lee Richardson Chief Executive of Gaming Economics

In the final part of this EIG Berlin special report Lee Richardson Chief Executive of Gaming Economics presents further insight on game and betting market impacts that effected industry performance during Brazil 2014.

Gaming Economics is an independent gaming consultancy specialising in providing sound business guidance for operators, suppliers and investors within the international e-gaming and betting industry.

To view part one of this report click on this link

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Match Volatility 

In terms of overall performance of the individual matches by the favourites, in 90”, there has certainly been a degree of volatility; the figure below shows the relative performance, by 16-game period, with the overall cumulative winning percentage, across the 64 game tournament, of 51% being well within the expected range.

However, gross win margins for the bookmakers are expected to have been boosted by the well-below-average winning ratio of 31% during the final 16-game period, when overall per-game turnover would expected to have been highest.

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Brazil 2014 – Shocks & Upsets

In contrast to this performance of overall winning favourites, major form-upsets have been common, throughout the tournament. Just a few examples…

  • Four teams who were outsiders of 4 in their respective Groups successfully progressed to R16 (Algeria, Costa Rica, Greece and the USA)
  • Four of the first 9 in the out-right betting didn’t make it beyond the Group stage (Spain, Portugal, Italy and England)
  • Costa Rica were 4/1 favourites to be the lowest scoring team at the tournament; in their remarkable progression to the QFs, they scored 5, more than most of the teams who played in Brazil
  • Algeria were the 14/1 outsiders to finish as Top African side, which they accomplished jointly, alongside Nigeria

However, there were some far more predictable outcomes; with 3 of the 4 outright market-leaders reaching the semi-finals, this produced the ‘closest’ Final-4 finish for more than 20 years (Prevous being USA 1994 – Brazil Vs Italy)

This underscored the long-term ante-post market being extremely solid, and thus able to be traded accordingly.

Record Number of Goals

A record number of goals was recorded at these Finals, with a particular emphasis in the first 48 games, as the below chart clearly shows. Germany and Brazils’ 8-goal thriller clearly skewed the data for the Semi Finals!

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As is typical at such tournaments, once the knock-out stage is reached, goal totals reduce, and Brazil has been no exception. Nonetheless, an unusually stark pattern has been noted, with a remarkable 65% of the first 48 games recording more than the benchmark 2.5 goals at the end of normal time, with the residual 16 games seeing just 25% reaching that level.

More Markets Than Ever Before

The range of betting markets offered by bookmakers on a per-game basis continued to rise inexorably, to a level almost 3-fold from just two tournaments ago, as the chart below indicates.

With no sign yet that this trend will plateau, further post-tournament analysis will no doubt highlight the true relative incremental benefit of such growth in markets offered.

 

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Brazil 2014 Conclusions

  • In-running betting levels appear likely to have been stable/low-growth when contrasted with 2010…
  • TV viewing figures appear below expectations, and well down on 2010, at least in the UK; too soon to see how that might have impacted betting turnover and margin, especially from recreational players…..
  • Overall gross win margins likely to have improved markedly as the tournament progressed, particularly over the final week…
  • Many derivative markets, especially those based on goals scored, have likely performed well in volume terms, driven by the record-breaking number of goals, particularly in the first two weeks….
  • Outright market probably mostly profitable for most operators; Germany winning rather than second-favourites Argentina likely made a significant difference on the final day, and for the overall tournament…
  • Overall, a likely highly-satisfactory tournament in trading terms, although unlikely to match 2010 in gross win margin levels.

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Lee Richardson MBA Chief Executive – Gaming Economics

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Lee Richardson will be speaking on sports betting industry factors and impacts at the upcoming EIG Berlin Expo (21-23 October).

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