Olympic bids D-Day Paris favourite, London confident

Lausanne, Switzerland, Nov. 15 — Paris is not only favorite but stretching its lead over its four rivals in the race to stage the 2012 Olympic Games, bookmakers say, as the cities submit their bids to host the Olympics to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) before today’s midnight deadline.

Meanwhile in London, hopes of bringing the Olympic Games back to Great Britain for the first time since 1948 having received a significant double boost. A new poll suggests that 75 percent of Britons back the efforts to stage the Olympics, and today it was revealed that all 28 international sports federations have approved the planned facilities detailed in the London candidate file.

“Paris has always been in the driving seat and in recent months it’s pulled away even further,” said Warren Lush, a spokesman for Ladbrokes, the world’s biggest bookmaker. Bettors have put four times as much on Paris than on its closest rival London, he said in an interview.

Ladbrokes rates the French capital’s chance of staging the games as 1/2, meaning a winning bet of 2 pounds ($3.69) will yield a profit of 1 pound. London is a 7/2 chance, he said. Madrid is a 4/1 shot, New York is 12/1 and Moscow is the 20/1 outsider.

William Hill put Paris at 4-7, London 2-1, Madrid 13-2, New York 12-1 and Moscow at 33-1.

The cities are vying to win an event that Paris, London and Madrid’s organizing committees forecast will generate about $1 billion in revenue and which New York’s team estimates would trigger investment of $1.83 billion in the city. Their “candidature” files must arrive today at the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. A team of IOC delegates will visit each location in February and March before the body makes a final decision in July.

In a preliminary report in May, the IOC ranked Paris’s initial proposal the highest, followed by Madrid, London, New York and Moscow. Paris is also the favorite according to bookmakers Coral, who rate the French capital at odds of 8/15.