Grand National weekend doesn't disappoint as records are broken

The Grand National became the latest sports betting event to report record-breaking figures over the weekend.

Last week, Entain projected the Grand National would become the biggest sports wagering event in history and early indications suggest the operator may have been onto something.

Saturday’s Grand National set a new record on the Smarkets platform, for instance, for betting volume on a single event; bets reached £92.8m ($127.8m) an increase of 21% on the last National for the brand.

The National amounted to 71% of volume during the three-day Aintree Festival, with a total of £131m traded on the races from Thursday to Saturday; this represented a 28% increase from 2019 when £101m was traded.

On the Smarkets betting exchange, a total of £263m in bets were processed over the seven-day period ending April 11, meaning this was the second-highest traded week in Smarkets history.

The weekend’s races were also historic for other reasons, as Rachael Blackmore become the first female jockey to win the Grand National, victorious on Minella Times at Aintree.

Her victory was feared by bookmaker Paddy Power ahead of the race, with an estimated £15m in losses as people were backing the 40-1 shot since February.

Other bookmakers were also affected by the victory as brands like Ladbrokes and Betway suffered due to the weekend’s result.

Last month the Cheltenham Festival had also broken records as Smarkets reported £210m in total betting volume; it’s clear that with more bettors at home the online betting industry is experiencing a triumphant time.

The absence of last year's Grand National also had a clear impact, with only the virtual race running in 2020, while operators like Sky Bet  had to temporarily suspend all operations while settling bets – demonstrating just how popular this race is among sports bettors, whether regular punters or simply casual fans.

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