In the spirit of my predictions, I’ve decided to place a few bets on the games this weekend. Finns will know all about the match fixing scandal involving Allianssi and a Chinese-Belgian coalition of gamblers and coaches. And the scandal is probably one of the only things that non-Finns know about Finnish football.
Now in that case, the Chinese guys were betting in the far east and the Belgian coach made sure his team did what was required. Betting in Finland is run by a monopoly, just as selling alcohol is. But the betting takes place in newsagents and bars, not in the single use-only betting shops where British gamblers congregate.
The range of sports to bet on is OK, but I can’t be the only Brit to be disappointed with the horse racing they have here. Trotting is like chariot racing without the weaponry, like horse racing without the excitement. I know the Grand National isn’t great for animal welfare, but if you were a horse would you rather meet your end at Becher’s Brook or in a sausage factory?
Anyway, back to football. The odds are sometimes a little strange, and not just because they’re always decimal. For instance Tampere United are 1.70 to win tomorrow at VPS, who beat them home and away last year. The draw is 3.35 and a VPS win is a mighty 4.00. Very tempting when you consider that Tampere will probably be without Kaven, Kuoppala, Wiss and Niemi. Not that i think they’ll lose, just that they’re underpriced-if I was to bet impartially on this match it would be on VPS or the draw.
I’ve had a little look at Ladbrokes’ odds for the coming round of games (isn’t globalisation wonderful?), and for every match there is a difference in one of the odds, always in favour of the customer.
I can’t help thinking this is another nice little cashcow for the Finnish state, just like Alko. There has been a lot of propaganda about raising alcohol taxes recently, because last time they were cut there was a big rise in alcohol related health problems. The fact that they reduced the taxes on hard liquor (made in Finland) rather than beer (foreign muck) apparently had nothing to do with it.
Once again, the Finnish consumer gets a raw deal. And people will accept it, because gamblers and alcoholics are scum, aren’t they?
I don’t know what the law says about gambling on the internet in Finland so I hesitate to advocate it. But anybody thinking about betting on football here should check out Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral, Paddy Power or any number of other sites to see what a great deal foreign gamblers get in comparison.