Bookies eye €12m 'X Factor' bonanza
This year's The X Factor, which began last night, will be the biggest yet for bookies.
Bookmakers anticipate that turnover will exceed €12m as a result of punters in Ireland and Britain having a flutter on the show that is loved and loathed in equal measure.
The bookies are offering odds of 8/1 that Simon Cowell will replace a judge during the show and 12/1 that he will be the replacement brought in.
Bookies have odds of 9/4 that Gary Barlow will manage the winner; 5/2 for Louis Walsh and Tulisa; and 11/4 on Kelly Rowland's act.
William Hill bookies said its biggest X Factor bet last year was £6,000 on Matt Cardle to win. But the average bet last year was a more reasonable €15 (up from €10 in 2009). Betting has increased 26-fold compared to the first series of The X Factor. It is one of only four markets where women outspend men.