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21 Jul, 2010 06:27

Bet League opens book on football match day

Russian bookmaker Bet League has signed a contract with the country`s football premiere league to allow it to start taking bets at stadiums before a match. The company will invest up to $5 million in the project.

Want to wager some money while at a sports event, but tired of the track? Now you can risk your shirt down at the football stadium as the players prepare to kick-off.

The one sure fire winner will be the football association. In its deal with Bet League it will receive half of all the earnings made by the bookmakers inside the stadium. The money will be put towards the development of football in Russia, according to Sergey Cheban, Head, of the Russian Football Premiere League

“50 per cent of what is made will be given to the Russian Football League. And then we will decide whether to invest into football clubs or children's football.”

The amount of money wagered on sport last year in Russia amounted to just $1.2 billion – a fairly meager sum for such a large country with a long sporting tradition. Oleg Zhuravsky, President of Bet League, says the recent ban on casinos has not helped the situation from the bookmaker’s point of view.

“There has been a 3 fold decline in the market. In 2009 the volume of the market was $1.2 billion, and this year I can say its just around $400 million. But I’m sure the market will grow, that’s why we are ready to invest capital in new projects. “

Zhuravsky also has a cunning plan to boost the image of sports betting. He’s set his heart on winning the services of tentacled fortune teller – Paul the Octopus. Bet League has offered to pay around 100 thousand euro for the psychic cephalopod, who correctly predicted the outcome of games at the World Cup.

“We sent an offer and I think we will find a compromise. I want this octopus to help our bookmaker office to predict the winner. We are ready to provide everything he needs – we just need him!”

Paul has been getting many offers, but if he does come to Russia he’ll find everything an oracle octopus could need to show off his talents. His sponsors could take him to the pitch on match day so he could predict the winner and encourage the spectators to place a spontaneous bet.