The football World Cup is set to become the biggest-ever betting event in Britain, bookmakers said Wednesday, with online gambling expected to help turnover hit more than one billion pounds.

Britons are expected to bet around a billion pounds (1.5 billion dollars, 1.2 billion euros), breaking all records, with the growth of online gambling seeing many more people becoming punters.

But gamblers are seemingly not just backing England -- bets are going on a whole variety of teams, matches and outcomes.

"It's huge, really surging this week and going into a World Cup frenzy for football fans," Darren Haines, spokesman for bookmakers Paddy Power, told AFP.

"We anticipate one-billion-pounds being gambled industry-wide, and the further England go in the tournament, it's more likely that this figure will be comfortably surpassed.

"It will be the biggest betting event in British history, without a doubt."