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Records tumble at TAB as Kiwis go soccer mad

For immediate release
Date: Tuesday 11 June 2002

Records tumble at TAB as Kiwis go soccer mad

Several sports betting records at the New Zealand TAB have been smashed as New Zealanders go mad over the Soccer World Cup, figures released today show.

TAB head bookie Pete Young said last week $7.1 million was wagered on sports, smashing the previous record of $3.3 million set in November 2000, when David Tua fought for the world heavyweight boxing championship.

Pete Young said $5.4 million of the $7.1 million last week had been bet on the Soccer World Cup. In total, to date, the Soccer World Cup has attracted $7.8 million worth of bets.

“We are averaging around $230,000 per game which is phenomenal and there have been 217,000 individual bets placed,” he said.

The TAB has also received its biggest ever sports bet, a $260,000 wager on Brazil to beat China. The customer won more than $20,000.

“That was unbelievable but what has been equally amazing is that we are getting thousands of people having $5, $10 and $20 flutters on every game,” Pete Young said.

The Soccer World Cup is now the TAB’s highest ever sports betting event, surpassing the $5.2 million bet on the 1998 Soccer World Cup.

A new TAB Internet betting record has also been set, with $2.3 million bet last week, dwarfing the previous weekly record of $1.4 million set in January 2002.

Pete Young said if England won the World Cup it would be the worst result for the TAB: “If England wins, there will be a lot of happy customers. England have been widely supported ever since we released our odds in October last year.”

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