Corbyn win costs UK bookies

Corbyn win costs UK bookies

Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Jeremy Corbyn's surprise victory led to huge losses

Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour Party leader has cost UK bookmakers more than £1m (€1.36m/$1.54m) as figures again highlighted the growth of political betting.

Corbyn was a 200/1 outsider when the contest began in May, but had become 1/20 favourite by the time the polls closed last week.

Corbyn was the last of the four candidates to enter the race and, having been a backbench MP for more than 30 years, was initially seen as little more than a representative of Labour’s left wing who could stimulate debate.

However, it took little time for the backing of trade unions such as Unite and grassroots members to propel Corbyn to favouritism, with bookmakers caught short by their early prices.

William Hill’s Graham Sharpe said: “The gamble has cost William Hill alone a six-figure sum, and with up to a million pounds gambled industry-wide it will be the biggest political betting payout ever.

“I am unaware of any betting market, let alone a political one, in which a contender has gone from 200/1 odds to 1/20 odds. It is unprecedented.”

The amount staked on the contest was another example of the rise of political betting, which Sharpe said had shown growth since the £3.25m wagered on the Scottish Referendum in 2014 and then huge £100m bet on this year’s General Election. Hills further revealed that one punter had won £2,000 after placing £10 on Corbyn at the initial odds.
 

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