Monday 6 June 2016 12:01 am

Bookies are quids in from Euro 2016 tournament as economists predict a halo effect for countries that make the final four

William Hill is predicting £500m will be wagered on the Euro 2016 football tournament across the UK's bookies as it gears up for what it calls the “biggest Euros of all time”.

Over two million bets worth £100m are expected to be wagered with William Hill alone during the tournament, which kicks off this Friday.

“With the number of teams increased for this tournament, turnover will be higher than ever before for a Euros,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly. “Once you throw England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland into the mix you will see even more turnover.”

A fifth of all wagers placed on the tournament so far have been for England to win, representing a potential £1m loss for William HIll.

The Three Lions are currently the 8/1 fourth favourites to win the tournament according to the bookmaker, and have attracted the largest single wager so far, of £50,000 at 9/1. This would return half a million pounds to the punter if they lift the trophy.

Research by Lloyds Bank released today suggests that countries that are successful in the Euros could benefit from an economic “feel-good” factor. The research compares the change in consumer spending and GDP growth from the second quarter in the year the championships are held, which is when they start, with the third quarter which is when the final stages of the tournament fall.

Since 1996, consumer spending among the final four countries has grown on average by 0.61 per cent and GDP by 0.81 per cent in the third quarter. This was considerably higher than the average growth 0.23 per cent in consumer spending and 0.37 per cent in GDP in these countries in the preceding quarter.

England has seen an average increase in consumer spending growth between the two quarters in championship years, from 0.26 per cent to 0.41 per cent. The biggest boost to spending came in 1996 when England reached the final four as host nation.