William Hill has reported it lost money from the result of the EU referendum. The referendum was the largest non-sports betting event in history, beating the previous record held by the Scottish referendum by almost 4 times, with a total of £100 million wagered.
William Hill reported that they took about £20 million on referendum bets at their betting shops alone. Whilst remain had been offered as the favourite and 69% of the money taken had been for remain, 69% of the individual bets were for a leave result, causing William Hill to have to hand out more than they received.
William Hill Betting On Political Bets
There had been debate about whether or not bookie favourites should be used as an alternative to official polls, but the surprise result of Brexit calls their accuracy as a predictive tool into question. At the very least, the betting shop results do let us in on a few other interesting facts about people's betting habits, specifically, that people are really interested in politics, especially when it comes to making some cash as well.
Although the result was a loss for William Hill overall, their interest in facilitating future non-sports betting events isn't affected in the slightest. Graham Sharpe, a spokesperson for William Hill, was optimistic on the outcome, saying “it shows that you can beat the bookie occasionally. It is the biggest political betting event in bookmaking history, and the industry has learned there is an appetite to bet on politics.”