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Paddy Power pays out on C&N

May 21st, 2008

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    Are the bookies really taking a hammering?

The Irish bookmaker PaddyPower has followed up its early payout on Boris in the London Mayoral election by repeating the exercise with the Tories in Crewe and Nantwich. In the former the money came after the polls had closed but before the count. With tomorrow’s by-election the polling stations have not even opened yet.

This is good publicity stunt and shows the view of the betting community that a Tory victory tomorrow is close to a certainty.

William Hill has put out a press release suggesting they will be hammered by the result. A spokesman said: “We have taken in total just £45 – one bet of £20 and another of £25 for Labour to win this by-election – and we face a six figure payout if – when – the Tories win. It is the most one-sided by-election ever in betting terms. The Conservatives have gone from 4/5 favourites when the book opened to 1/33 and we have taken bets of up to £40,000 a time for them.”

Oh dear – poor William Hill. We will all be crying into our beer tonight! You can still bet on Betfair – the latest Tory price is 0.04/1.

Assuming the result is as expected my guess is that there will be a lot of activity on the commons seats spread betting markets. This certainly happened after Boris won the mayoralty and I am sure we will see it on Friday. In preparation I have built up what is for me a reasonably large Labour sell position.

  • A spread betting warning. Yesterday I had lunch with someone who bought Labour at £100 a seat in the immediate aftermath of Gordon’s conference speech last September. The level he went in at was 332. It has now dropped by 100 seats and he is facing a loss of about £10,000. Fortunately he was still able to pick up the tab for the meal!
  • Mike Smithson






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