Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Irish Bookmakers Get Slammed After Rory Wins

After Rory McIlroy won the US Open, I emailed with bookmakers at Sportsbook.comand William Hill.

ory McIlroy of Northern Ireland holds up the trophy after winning the 111th US Open by eight strokes over Jason Day with a record 268 at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011, in Bethesda, Maryland.
Jim Watson | Getty Images

Did any of them get hurt by any major future bets coming in on McIlroy? The answer was no.

Rupert Adams at William Hill in London said that almost all the cash coming into the tournament was on Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Phil Mickelson. Mike Pierce of Sportsbook.comsaid the worse thing to happen to his book was Tiger dropping out since there was roughly $20,000 bet on Woods to win.

So I tweeted this:Rory's win didn't hurt any sportsbooks. Will Hill had big $ on Donald, Westwood, Poulter. lost a bit from returning Tiger $.

That's when Colm Finlay from Ireland tweeted back at me that bookies in McIlroy's native Ireland were reeling. Finlay is the manager of Bambury Bookmakers, which has 15 betting shops in the greater Dublin area. One bettor bet $713 and won $14,307.

"I think all things added up, we're looking at a payout of near ($85,842) across all of our shops," Finlay said, via email. "For a relatively small operator like ourselves, it's a big hit."

Finlay said given his margins, the books would have to turn roughly ten times that just to claw back the losses. Finlay figures that, when adding up the roughly 1,400 licensed betting shops in Ireland and Northern Ireland, the total loss on McIlroy's win could hit $8.6 million.

Given the exposure, Finlay says bookmakers in Ireland and Northern Ireland can't afford to list McIlroy as a longshot anymore, who has been immediately cut across the board on all golf futures markets in the country.

Finlay says his odds to win the British Open has been cut from 16/1 to 5/1 and his odds to win the PGA Championship have been slashed from 25/1 to 7/1.

Said Finlay: "It is very conceivable that you might not get a double digit price on Rory McIlroy to win any golf tournament for the next decade."

The one positive from all of this? Finlay says it will result in an increase in golf betting in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Questions?  Comments?