Games help to up pace at Sportingbet

Any gambler 'going short' of the number of gold medals Australia might win in the Olympics is looking good. Until Monday when Sally Pearson, pictured, romped home in the 100m hurdles, one wag noted, it was hard to be certain that Australia hadn't boycotted the Games altogether.

Australian-centred spread betting house Sportingbet says not many Aussie fans have bet either way as it turns out — they bet on the basketball and the football, but not much else, even though a full range of Olympic betting prices have been available for the first time. Still, Sportingbet said revenues are up 24% in the first nine months of the year. That leaves it on course to meet City profit forecasts for the year of £34.5 million, of which Australia should contribute £30 million. Finance director Jim Wilkinson, said: "We are an Australian-orientated company. Europe is going the other way at the moment."