The real winners in the World Cup
By Paul
Online bookmaker Sportingbet claimed last Wednesday it had become one of the most profitable Internet businesses in the world as it reported a 300% increase in turnover and a pre-tax profit of £5m in its full year results. This year’s profit compared with a pre-tax loss of £4.2m in 2001. In the year ending March 2001, its customers grew over 600%, from 90,000 to 560,000. The company says 310,000 additions came from the acquisition of Sportsbook last July

Sportingbet also announced it had acquired Sporting Odds, the fixed-odds business of the spread betting firm Sporting Index, for £4.5m.

The company said it was well placed to capitalise on the increasing trend towards consolidation in the industry.

'We believe that we are now one of the most profitable Internet businesses in the world.'

Record numbers had registered during the World Cup and football betting was taking off in new markets. More than 300,000 bets had been taken on the competition to date and 11,000 new accounts were opened.

Sportingbet now operates in 10 languages and has active customers in 150 countries. Sports betting turnover amounted to £857m

Sportsbook would launch a person-to-person betting exchange in the American market next month, called, the company said.

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