In London, Simon Goodley reported that Britain's bookmakers are "savouring the Olympics as punters place bets in record numbers." Olympic business "has doubled" at betting exchange Betfair, while online bookmaker William Hill said that a record £30M ($47M) "will be staked across the industry" during two weeks of competition. That only equates "to an average Saturday" during the Premier League football season, however, it is "far in excess" of previous Olympics and tops most predictions made before the London Games. Betting firm Sporting Index Commercial Dir Mark Maydon said: "London 2012 levels of business, measured by a number of bets we've taken, is up by a factor of nine versus Beijing." The top sports in terms of bets placed have been football and tennis, followed by swimming, basketball, athletics, boxing and cycling. Betting on the number of Gold Medals won by the British team "has also proved popular," with Sporting Index currently predicting 27, up from 24 at the beginning of the Games (GUARDIAN, 8/6).
TOURISM BOOST: The PA's Peter Woodman reported that the Olympics are "proving a boost to retailing and tourism." Figures are showing that busy tourism and shopping areas "had seen an increase in numbers" during the Games. Retailers across London's Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street said that there had been "an increase in sales and a higher footfall" over the past few days. Heart of London, the business improvement district representing these areas, said that between Monday and Thursday of last week, footfall was up 11.6% on the previous week and 16.2% up on the same week in '11. There has also been "a significant increase in the number of passengers using Tube stations" in the capital's West End, with an increase of 27% last Saturday night (PA, 8/6).
BADMINTON ASSESSMENT: Yonhap reported that Badminton World Federation President Kang Young-joong said the governing body would "carefully assess" current regulations in the Olympic badminton tournament. The BWF will also "look to increase awareness among shuttlers and coaches about ethical standards in the sport." Kang said, "Let there be no misunderstanding; the BWF takes this matter utterly seriously. And we trust that the steps we have taken show this" (YONHAP, 8/6).