Oh no! Pundits who bet on Brazil were not happy when they went down 1-0 early in the opening match of the World Cup against Croatia on an own goal by Marcelo. Brazil would come back to win 3-1.  *AFP Photo
Oh no! Pundits who bet on Brazil were not happy when they went down 1-0 early in the opening match of the World Cup against Croatia on an own goal by Marcelo. Brazil would come back to win 3-1. *AFP Photo

Bermuda’s betting shops are seeing a lift from World Cup fever. Both GameTime and Seahorses said this year’s event is attracting a lot of action.

Albert Steede, co-owner of GameTime with Cleon Scotland, told the Bermuda Sun that their shop has been busy in the lead-up to Thursday’s opening game between Croatia and Brazil. 

Mr Steede: “This is busier than the last time.” 

He said that could be due to the fact the World Cup is in Brazil this year instead of South Africa, so the time zone works better for Bermuda. 

Mr Steede added: “With the recession this is something that is uplifting people’s spirits — it’s exciting.”

He said at GameTime there is such a wide variety of things to bet on, from who the overall winner will be to individual games to scorers. 

“People are trying so many different options, from the correct scores to the $1 prize as well.”

While the odds favour Brazil followed by Argentina, Germany and Spain, he said “locals love these three: England, Portugal and Holland”.

He said while there is not a swarm of people picking England to win the whole World Cup, it is seeing good action on individual games.”

Lee Beauchamp, general manager at Seahorses, said his shop was packed on Thursday afternoon as people were getting ramped up for the opening match.

He said: “This has been as busy as any World Cup I’ve seen.”

Mr Beauchamp said most of the betting is on the futures, who will win it outright and who will be the leading goalscorer or a combination of the two.

“We’re getting bets on who will win the groups and it’s all good value because a bet can last them a month as long as their teams stays in it.”

He said for the overall winner of the tournament “nearly all the money is on Brazil. The Italian boys seem to be backing Italy. 

“There are always those who bet patriotically, having said that, we haven’t seen that much for England.”

Mr Beauchamp said at 25-1, Italy to win the World Cup is “quite an interesting bet”.

He added Germany is another country seeing heavy betting action to win the whole thing.

“We did have one American guy come in to bet USA to progress out of their group. The odds were 3-1 — other than that, there haven’t been many bets on the Americans.”

He said the times for the games are good for Bermudians and that is adding to the general excitement about the World Cup.

“We’re getting a real cross-section of people in the community come in and bet — lots of ladies as well.”