Capital gambles on a ‘Yes’ as bookmakers take £2m

William Hill expect to take more than �2m in bets on the Independence referendum. Pic: Johnny Green/PA.

William Hill expect to take more than �2m in bets on the Independence referendum. Pic: Johnny Green/PA.

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City gamblers have overwhelmingly backed a ’Yes’ vote, with bookmaker William Hill saying 80% of bets had backed independence.

The company, Scotland’s biggest bookmaker, revealed that the Capital was still the most cautious, with over 90% of referendum bets in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Motherwell and Perth put down for yes. And in Inverness, 87% of bets backed a ‘yes’ vote.

In England gamblers were much more evenly split, although most were expecting a ‘No’ vote, with 59% in London backing ‘no’, 65% in Liverpool and 52% in Newcastle - although in Manchester, 72% of all bets had been placed on ‘Yes’.

With the company set to take more than £2 million in betting money they admitted it was the biggest political event ever. The largest bet ever struck on a political outcome is an £800,000 wager on a ‘No’ vote from a punter in London consisting of a £400,000 bet and two of £200,000. Should a No vote be achieved, the punter will scoop a £133,000 profit.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said: “This is by far the biggest political betting event ever. There is no way we could have envisaged turning over in excess of £2m when the market was first opened.”

Despite recent polls putting ‘Yes’ as a marginal favourite in the public’s eyes that has not translated to the betting prices with ‘Yes’ 3/1 and ‘No’ 2/9 with ‘Yes’ on the drift in the last few days.