Football Friday: Fifa World Cup 2010

Some of the writers from TVHE have grouped together with other football fans to write a football blog.  The current focus of this blog is on the 2010 Fifa World Cup.  It can be found here:

http://vuvuzelaventing.wordpress.com/

On the blog they go through their views on the different World Cup groups, and who they think will end up taking out the cup.  All very interesting.  I suggest you go along and have a look – they currently have posts up for groups A, B, and C.

Go the All Whites 😀

Reuters poll of economists tips Spain for World Cup win

This article made my day. I am also picking Spain to win the world cup, but I am heavily biased since my mother is Spanish. It is good to know that my profression has my back on this one though:)

So if the economists are right on this one we should expect to see Torres pulling this pose a few times on his way to winning the Golden Boot:)

All Whites vs Australia

Tonight at 9.30pm (NZ time) the All Whites will take on Australia over in Melbourne.  The squad is named here (expected Aussie squad here).

Everyone at TVHE is very excited that the All Whites have qualified for the World Cup, and also pumped for the match against the Aussies tonight.  So pumped that Nolan put down $5 on NZ to win (at 10:1).

So good luck boys, we are looking forward to watching you get amongst.

Update:  Feel free to go into comments and discuss your fantasy squad for today 😉 .  Also Yellow Fever discussion is here (pg 21 is where we get more into game day).

Update:  All Whites lost 2-1.  Up 1-0 at half-time.  Great performance boys.  And seriously, our first team looks pretty good – its going to be a great World Cup 🙂

Gambling at the TAB, monopolies and innovation

I like to place the odd sports bet. In New Zealand I have no official option but to do this through the TAB, which is a state-sanctioned monopoly.

In other countries there are often many competing institutions offering odds on various events, including sports. In fact, there are now many companies that operate across borders in many countries,  such as BetFair and Bet365.*

The lack of competition in the betting market in New Zealand stifles innovation in the betting options they offer. One recent pundit proclaimed the TAB “the most conservative betting agency in the world”. Essentially the TAB has no incentive to innovate, as they know punters have limited ability to legally gamble through other avenues.

The TAB have started opening more interesting books on the FIFA World Cup, such as whether Lionel Messi will score more goals during the campaign than the All Whites combined (Messi the hot favourite at $1.55!).

If the gambling market were officially opened up to competition I suspect we would see a lot more of this innovation.

*I’m not sure of the legal status of these organisations in New Zealand, although I understand it is possible to open accounts with them (legally or otherwise).