Betting agency makes monumental and costly error ahead of election
Days before the votes had even begun being counted, one betting agency made a bold decision. It came back to bite them in a big way. The votes are in and the result has been called with Scott Morrison hanging on as the Coalition claim the Australian election victory. It’s a result that left more than a few Aussies in shock, but none felt the pinch more than betting agency Sportsbet. In a stunningly bold decision, the agency opted to reward Labor punters two days ahead of the votes even being counted. Over $1.3 million was paid out to those who threw money behind Bill Shorten and the Labor Party to salute.
In a release from Sportsbet on Thursday, it detailed the reasoning behind the enormous payout. “Sportsbet punters have declared Saturday’s Federal Election run and won, backing Labor into Winx-like odds of $1.16 with 70% of all money wagered on the election going on Bill Shorten’s team,” the release said. “With punters so confident, Sportsbet has today paid out early on all bets placed on Labor to win Saturday’s vote “Over $1.3 million has been paid out to punters who had a flutter on Labor. “Labor have attracted several large wagers including one savvy punter who walks away with over $128,000 before a vote has been counted.” “Our punters have spoken through their bets! 7 out of every 10 bets on the election are on Labor. They’re supremely confident we will be paying out on Saturday so we have decided to pay them early. “Punters rarely get it wrong on elections,” Sportsbet’s Rich Hummerston said. “Sportsbet’s markets currently suggest Labor will win 82 seats and the Coalition 63.”
As the votes continued to roll in and it became increasingly clear Labor were going to struggle to raise the bat, the agency leaned into the mistake and poked some fun at themselves.
Sportsbet can take solace in knowing its not the only ones out of pocket on the night the votes were counted. An anonymous New South Wales punter was so confident Bill Shorten would end up on top he parted with $1 million on Labor winning. The bet is the largest in Ladbrokes’ history and would have paid out $230,000 if Bill Shorten was announced as the Prime Minister. “We’ve obviously seen some sizable bets come through in recent times, many of them on Winx, but clearly this gentleman thinks the Labor Party is a safer bet than the now retired mighty mare,” said Jason Scott, Ladbrokes Australia Chief Executive. The old saying goes ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’ which may well be the feelings inside the walls of the Sportsbet offices. For the anonymous punter however, the tears may continue to flow for days on end as he screams to the heavens over Labor’s loss.