Bookies celebrate after McCoy misses out on Grand National win

Bookies celebrate after McCoy misses out on Grand National win

Monday, April 13, 2015 Totally Gaming

There seems to be uncertainty in terms of the actual figures, but UK bookmakers were toasting AP McCoy’s failure to win the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.

The estimates as to what a win for the retiring jockey on Shutthefrontdoor could have cost the industry ranged between a conservative £50m ($73m/€69m) and £100m.

McCoy, 40, who won the race in 2010 and has been champion jockey for the last 19 consecutive years, is to retire this year and said he would quit immediately if he won the UK’s biggest racing and betting event for a second time on Saturday.

The publicity surrounding the Irishman led to an avalanche of support, with William Hill alone taking £30m in bets on him, but Shutthefrontdoor could finish only fifth, which meant it still paid out each way with some companies but was much cheaper than a McCoy win.

“It’s been another cracking Grand National for us,” said Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams after the race, which was won by 25/1 shot Many Clouds.

“We were cheering every runner apart from Shutthefrontdoor. He was the only one we were sweating about and when he started to tire we were able to relax. As Many Clouds raced up to the line we knew we were on the right side of a £30m windfall across the entire betting industry.”

Total revenue for the race is still to be confirmed, but estimates suggested that more than £150m was gambled by punters.

William Hill said that it was taking around 25,000 bets per minute just before the start of the Grand National, and it paid out around £13m in total winnings.

William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke said: “It was a record breaking race in terms of popularity with Britain’s public punting more than ever before. It wasn’t quite a record breaking win for bookmakers with plenty of punters picking up winnings, but there’s enough in the coffers to celebrate.”

As one of the great personalities in racing, bookmakers have mixed feelings about McCoy’s impending retirement.

While he has been the cause of many a bad day for them over the years, his fame brings exposure to a sport that has lost market share in gambling over recent years.

Speaking to TotallyGaming.com, Ladbrokes’ Alex Donohue said: “It will be a real shame to see McCoy retire, but the affection the general public have shown for him can only be a good thing for racing.”
 

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