Andy Murray’s historic victory at Wimbledon cost British bookmakers £15m, according to Ladbrokes.
The defeat of Novak Djokovic, coming at the start of July will not have made a dent in the bookmakers’ first-half profits, but the City is still braced for disappointing news when they are published on Thursday.
Ladbrokes issued a profits warning in April blaming cancelled race meetings, fewer high-rolling clients and a poor Cheltenham Festival. That saw City analysts slash their profit forecasts to around £161m, down from £176m in 2012. Broker Panmure Gordon expects a 30 per cent drop in first-half, pre-tax profits to £77.3m and suggests there will be no early signs of a recovery following the bookie’s deal to use online gaming expert Playtech to pep up its web and mobile offerings.
It also points out that Ladbrokes will be the hardest hit of the UK bookies if new gambling taxes are introduced. It prefers William Hill, which announced an 8 per cent rise in profits on Friday, and Paddy Power.