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FIFA World Cup 2014: What if Spain’s out or Cristiano Ronaldo's hurt, we’re rich

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 - 6:20am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA

Spain's unexpectedly short FIFA World Cup campaign left their fans devastated, but try telling that to the punters who made both merry and money after the 2010 winners crashed out early.

Vicente Del Bosque's boys aren't the only ones who've made bookies on these shores richer. Even England, who failed to find life in the dreaded 'Group of Death', and Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal, whose hopes of making the next round hang by a thread, have contributed to the bookies' coffers.

According to sources in the 'satta' market, a whopping Rs10,000 crore has already exchanged hands since the greatest show on earth kicked off on June 13. Bookies in Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Kolkata and Vadodara have been busy as ever.

With Spain out, the focus in now on hosts Brazil, Lionel Messi's Argentina, Germany and The Netherlands. Thanks to these teams and their wonderful brand of attacking football, the 'satta' market is witnessing huge footfall.

According to a veteran punter, the odds of Brazil winning the tournament are 11/4 or Rs2.80. This means that if you place, say, a Rs1,000 bet on Neymar & Co winning the big prize on July 13, then you will make Rs2,800. Argentina are available at 7/2 or Rs3.1. In other words, you will make Rs3,100 on your Rs1,000 bet. Germany (4/1) are third in line.

"This is just the beginning and there is a long way to go. Let the group stage be completed. Once the knockouts start, the excitement will reach fever pitch. Yes, there have been upsets, And that's what the 'satta' market thrives on," says a veteran punter. "Business has been good," he adds.

Cricket is the No1 sport in these parts, but football is clearly ruling the roost right now. Some punters say cricket gives them " no breathing space at all". That's not the case in football because they have to "wait for something to happen".

"In cricket, we accept bets on every ball. But in football, we have to to wait for a goal or a red card to be shown. However, the risk factor is the same. After all, it is betting," says another punter, who believes (accepting bets on) horse racing involves the highest risk.

Spain, who were 3/1 favourites to retain the championship, proved the bookies wrong by losing to the Dutch and Chileans.


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