Sports betting

Weekend Review: Bundesliga return provides timely boost for bookies

RB Leipzig bust accumulators as Betfred expects betting interest to increase in the coming weeks

Top-tier European football returned for the first time in more than two months with the German Bundesliga providing a welcome taste of normality for both bookies and punters this past weekend.

While empty stadiums, social-distancing celebrations and Zoom-led punditry were all part of the odd occasion, fans and bettors still flocked to the action.

UK viewing figures are yet to be released, but Sky Germany saw 3.7 million tune in to Saturday’s action – more than double the average audience for the broadcaster.

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill told EGR that it was a good returning weekend, with Bayern Munich’s 2-0 victory at Union Berlin proving particularly popular with punters.

Gill said: “Bayern’s 2-0 win over Union Berlin was our biggest football event since coronavirus halted the season, with Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 win over rivals Schalke a close second.

“All told it was definitely a good weekend for Kindred as we came out ahead in seven of the eight games played so far. I’m sure punters will just be happy to have top class sports back and the chance to go again next weekend,” he added.

Betfred’s Alan Firkins highlighted a significant change in total weekend stakes – with expectations still muddied by the pandemic.

Firkins said: “It was great to have some top-flight European football on offer at the weekend. We didn’t really know what to expect in terms of business in these exceptional times, but achieved around a quarter, football stakes-wise, of what we’d expect to do over an average Saturday.

“With other leagues returning over the coming weeks too it’s reasonable to expect interest to increase, but we were pleased nevertheless with the Bundesliga action,” he added.

RB Leipzig’s 1-1 draw with SC Freiburg was a result to leave bettors frustrated, according to Betway’s Chad Yeomans and Ladrokes’ Alex Apati.

Yeomans said: “It wasn’t the dream return that Betway punters were hoping for as plenty of accumulators were let down by the short-priced RB Leipzig, who failed to beat Freiburg on Saturday.”

“Punters have loved watching proper football on TV again. Unfortunately it looks like RB Leipzig’s draw bust a fair few accumulators,” added Apati.

Yeomans also pointed to FC Koln’s failure to hold on to a 2-0 lead against Mainz, who dragged the game back to 2-2 through Taiwo Awoniyi and Pierre Kunde.

Yeomans added: ““On Sunday, the standout result for us was Mainz coming from 2-0 down to draw with FC Koln which made it a good weekend for us.”

William Hill’s Rupert Adams told EGR the operator was delighted with the weekend’s action.

Adams said: “Very pleased with turnover and Saturday was particularly good as Leipzig drew and Hoffenheim also failed to win.”

Elsewhere, Argyll Entertainment brands Redzone and Sportnation saw turnover around 25% of a normal Premier League weekend – up on the 20% forecast delivered before the Bundesliga returned.

An Argyll spokesperson told EGR they expect to see turnover to continue to increase incrementally as causal fans become more exposed to the league.

The spokesperson said: “”Turnover was slightly ahead of expectations and we believe this will grow as customers become more familiar with the league, teams and players – particularly the lesser-known sides.

“It’s an encouraging start and bodes well for the first double gameweek which will be a key test of The Bundesliga’s contribution to revenue during the disrupted sporting calendar,” they added.

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