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Profiting From Arbitrage And Odds Biases Of The European Football Gambling Market


  • Anthony Costa Constantinou
  • Norman Elliott Fenton


A gambling market is usually described as being inefficient if there are one or more betting strategies that generate profit, at a consistent rate, as a consequence of exploiting market flaws. This paper examines the online European football gambling market based on 14 European football leagues over a period of seven years, from season 2005/06 to 2011/12 inclusive, and takes into consideration the odds provided by numerous bookmaking firms. Contrary to common misconceptions, we demonstrate that the accuracy of bookmakers' odds has not improved over this period. More importantly, our results question market efficiency by demonstrating high profitability on the basis of consistent odds biases and numerous arbitrage opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Costa Constantinou & Norman Elliott Fenton, 2013. "Profiting From Arbitrage And Odds Biases Of The European Football Gambling Market," Journal of Gambling Business and Economics, University of Buckingham Press, vol. 7(2), pages 41-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:buc:jgbeco:v:7:y:2013:i:2:p:41-70

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    Cited by:

    1. Sathya Ramesh & Ragib Mostofa & Marco Bornstein & John Dobelman, 2019. "Beating the House: Identifying Inefficiencies in Sports Betting Markets," Papers 1910.08858,, revised Oct 2019.
    2. Philip W. S. Newall, 2015. "How bookies make your money," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 10(3), pages 225-231, May.
    3. Bernardo, Giovanni & Ruberti, Massimo & Verona, Roberto, 2015. "Testing semi-strong efficiency in a fixed odds betting market: Evidence from principal European football leagues," MPRA Paper 66414, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Bernardo, Giovanni & Ruberti, Massimo & Verona, Roberto, 2019. "Semi-strong inefficiency in the fixed odds betting market: Underestimating the positive impact of head coach replacement in the main European soccer leagues," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 239-246.
    5. Buhagiar, Ranier & Cortis, Dominic & Newall, Philip W.S., 2018. "Why do some soccer bettors lose more money than others?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 85-93.

    More about this item


    betting market; favourite-longshot bias; football betting; profit margin; soccer betting; sports betting; sports gambling;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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