Sportingbet beat by punters
By paul
Sportingbet, the UK-based online bookies, have taken a beating at the hands of the punters, or at least thatís what the company blames its poor showing in the second half of September on. Sportingbet said last week in a trading update when the company issued a profits warning to the City. 'an unusually high number of unfavourable sporting results' in American football and European soccer were behind the companyís poor figures in the final two weeks of September, Sportingbet said.

Finance director Andy McIver said that American football, which represents 35% of total bets per year, had been a loss for Sportingbet, with eight of twelve favourites winning in televised NFL matches two weeks ago.

Also, the top three soccer clubs in Europe's big four leagues have lost just only three of 120 matches played so far this season, McIver added. The uncertain situation in the US hasnít helped either, McIver said.

Sportingbetís figures reveal operating profits for the six months to the end of September 'will be approximately £2 million ($3.3 million) below expectations' of £2.5 million ($4.1 million).

Sportingbet has been touted as a takeover target, but a Sportingbet spokesman the company was more likely to buy than to be bought, adding that consolidation is likely within the online gaming market, of which Sportingbet is the market leader with only a 1.5% share.

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