Recently Robbie Butler looked at how challenging it is to beat the market at the Cheltenham festival by just following favourites. Over the past year I have presented data to show how experts commonly get it wrong when it comes to predicting the outcome of English Premier League matches. I'm not surprised when I hear people say that gambling on horses and football, in an effort to win money, is a mug's game - we sure can't beat the market systematically by picking favourites and the experts in all sports even have trouble calling the outcome. Here's an alternative - betting on the bookmakers themselves.
Earlier this month Paddy Power provided interesting Preliminary Financial Results. Some of the highlights included the company earning a net revenue of €882m, up 18%. The firm recorded a profit before tax that was up 21% (€167m). Also, there seems to be a clear growth in online gambling, more than likely facilitated by the growth of smart phones and the dawn of the I-Phone circa 07'/08'. Paddy Power showed strong momentum in all online and retail betting and mobile net revenue accounted for a leading 55% of online revenue in the latest results.
I don’t know whether it’s a good idea that adults in society have a computer in their pockets that will allow them access to 24/7 gambling. Rather than moralising, I'll just show the closing share price of Paddy Power from 2000 to 2015 (below).
Given what appears to be a constant demand for sport globally, you may be better off taking a punt on Paddy Power himself than having a punt in one of his shops!