Stakes are raised as political battleground hots up

Stakes are raised as political battleground hots up

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 Totally Gaming

Political betting is increasingly significantly in the UK gambling industry, according to the country’s leading bookmaker William Hill.

Spokesman Graham Sharpe told TotallyGaming.com, ahead of this lunchtime’s announcement of the Budget by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, that bets on a variety of political announcements and elections have taken off in recent years.

With the Budget announcement today (Wednesday) preceding a closely-fought UK General Election on May 7, the stakes have been raised – and not just for the two largest political parties, Labour and the Conservatives, which is the majority party in the current coalition government.

And while betting on today’s Budget includes novelty markets relating to the Chancellor’s choice of tie or whether any of his Cabinet colleagues will yawn, there is a more serious edge to political betting at present.

“We have been taking bets on aspects of different Budgets for many a long year,” Sharpe told TotallyGaming.com.

“They have developed over the years from a combination of what punters clearly enjoy, what we are asked to quote odds about and new markets we come up with.

“Political betting is increasing considerably at the moment, following the momentum from the 2014 Scottish Referendum, on which we took £3.25m - a record for a political market.

“One client staked £900,000 on a No vote – the biggest political bet ever. He has followed up with £200,000 on a Hung Parliament – the biggest General Election bet ever.

“This will be the first General Election to attract an eight-figure industry turnover. We are already offering odds for all 650 constituencies.”

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