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    Default Two English soccer teams bankrolled by gamblers

    The Wall Street Journal has published a number of online gambling stories recently (example here) and that trend continued today. The Web site has a piece on two lower-level English soccer teams (yes soccer) who are backed by successful sports gamblers.

    One of the teams, Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., is backed by Tony Bloom. Bloom is a very successful poker player as well, and recently won $890,120 at a high-roller event at the Aussie Millions.

    From the WSJ:

    In many ways, the sports cultures of the U.S. and U.K. have been merging. But when it comes to the relative merits of gambling, the reverse is true.

    Across the pond, where prominent bookmakers reported increases of as much as 20% in pretax profits in 2010, teams are reaping windfalls. This season, seven of the English Premier League's 20 clubs have jerseys emblazoned with the names of online-betting companies. In the U.S., meanwhile, the NFL continues to fight attempts to expand sports betting, even as its owners threaten to lock out the players if they don't make concessions on revenue.

    In the U.K., betting has become so entrenched in the mainstream that last year, a British financial firm launched a hedge fund that places sports bets. Academic programs are popping up where students can earn master's degrees in "gambling studies." Sports organizations have even come to rely on bookmakers to alert them to irregular betting patterns. Nonetheless, the idea that rich bettors might make up the next wave of team owners is a new idea.

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