Spreads stick together

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The Independent Online
The thunder of the spread betting firms coming over the horizon grew louder yesterday when the four tribes gathered to launch a united front. William Hill Index, City Index, IG Index and Sporting Index will now be governed by the Sports Spread Betting Association.

For those who picture bookmakers massing as like a shoal of sharks this will not be great news; for others who have been caught between the varying arbitration in disputes with the companies it will be a welcome development.

Racing now forms a small proportion of the spread betting market, and its influence will be even smaller during a summer stuffed with major sporting events. Euro 96 is already expected to be the biggest betting event since the spread medium took off four years ago, with the scenario of live matches, especially those involving England and Scotland, being particularly adaptable to this form of speculation.