Olympics washout for Ladbrokes

Blanket Olympics TV coverage and cancelled horse races in a soggy summer cut the sums gambled in British betting shops, the bookmaker Ladbrokes said yesterday.

The London Olympics did not translate into a surge in business, as many of the sports do not attract large numbers of gamblers.

Ladbrokes, Britain's second-largest bookmaker, said amounts staked in its shops fell 4.9 per cent in the three months through to September, covering the Olympics and when bad weather saw 38 horseracing meetings cancelled.