‘Brexit’ punters cause unprecedented traffic for the bookies

Brexit punters
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On 23 June, a wave of punters rushed to compare odds – and eventually place their bets – on what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest political shake-ups in British history. Oddschecker’s resident political pundit Guy Harding examines the biggest winners and losers.


[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n terms of page views Thursday 23 June was huge for Oddschecker – commanding more than ten times as many views as our Euro 2016 page, with nearly 400,000 unique visitors to the site in that 24hr period. Over the course of June, a month which included both Euro 2016 and Royal Ascot, Brexit eclipsed both football and horse racing page views.

Bet365 led the way with regards to the Oddschecker Brexit click share, commanding more than a quarter of the entire market in June, with Sky Bet in second place at just over 12.5 percent. Ladbrokes produced bold creative and regular content around the Referendum including their ‘Betting Barometer,’ and with the help of an enhanced odds offer for new customers (3/1 Remain or 8/1 Leave) achieved 3rd position thanks to a healthy 9.90 percent in click share. Betfair meanwhile, synonymous with political wagering courtesy of their ‘Betfair Predicts’ product, received over eight percent click share across both brands, and dominated our acquisition pool on the day itself as detailed further below.

As polling day wore on last week, more and more money piled onto Remain – putting Leave as long as 10/1 with Betway by the time the polls closed. Meanwhile, on Betfair’s exchange Remain traded as low as 1.06, implying a 94 percent chance of the nation voting to Remain.

Things were soon to change, following a narrower than expected victory for Remain in Newcastle the tide began to turn and by 3:11am Leave had become the favourite outcome.

Before the polls opened, Oddschecker’s largest single bet on Leave was £1,000 and although over half of bets were for Leave (53%) most of the money followed remain with over 85% of money staked going Remain’s way.

On the day itself just after 4pm someone staked £2,000 via Oddschecker on a leave vote with Ladbrokes at odds of 5/1. Ladbrokes will also be paying out to Mr Farage who wagered £1,000 at 5/2 on Leave back at the beginning of the month – interestingly had he consulted our site at the time he’d have found a number of bookies offering 11/4 which would have left him £250 better off on Friday morning.

Oddschecker looked to capitalise on a new type of punter and partnered effectively with Betfair to offer compelling enhancements on both outcomes: 4/1 for Remain and 10/1 for Leave. The partnership paid off with Oddschecker delivering Betfair a record number of first time depositors over a 24-hour period. The value of Betfair’s promotional activity was also borne out in Oddschecker’s site traffic statistics with Betfair commanding over two thirds (67%) of all new customer clicks on June 23rd.

Politics markets provide an opportunity for bookies to capture a new type of customer – this was evidenced by William Hill announcing that its biggest Brexit winner was a lady from South West London who staked £10,000 on Leave. Her first ever bet left her nearly £40,000 richer.

Attention now shifts to the schisms with the UK’s political parties themselves. Following David Cameron’s resignation on Friday, and Boris Johnson’s shock retreat from the leadership race this morning it looks like a two horse race between Theresa May and Michael Gove. As things stand the markets give a c60 percent chance of a May victory, while Gove is a 4/1 shot, or an implied probability of 20 percent.

Earlier this morning we took a £500 bet on Theresa May at 8/11 but this was dwarfed by a £1,000 bet on Andrea Leadsom at 1pm at 5/1.

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