Sunday, 30 June 2013


THE other day there was a news story about someone putting £200,000 on a ‘No’ vote for next year’s referendum campaign at a William Hill betting shop in Glasgow. But now we discover that Hills refused a £1000 bet on a ‘Yes’ vote from a punter in Paisley.  

The man then took himself off to the office of Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, to tell him the story.

On his own website Mr Adam told the story.

‘I was very surprised that one of my constituents wanted to show me his betting line but after he explained the situation I became very interested.

My first thoughts were that I was happy that he had almost as much confidence as me in Scotland winning independence following next year’s vote.

‘I was then told that he had tried to put a £1000 bet on the referendum outcome at William Hill in Gilmour Street in Paisley. After a member of staff made a few phone calls the constituent was told that the maximum amount they would accept was a bet of £250. 

This from the same chain of shops that accepted the £200,000 bet on a ‘No’ vote.

‘This is not the only betting shop to refuse a bet according to my constituent. Coral in Gauze Street in Paisley refused a £2000 bet and would only allow a wager of £200 to be placed, once again after phone calls to management.

‘It seems both these large chains are happier to accept money for the ‘No’ vote.
‘I think they’re more confident of holding on to that money.’

Although they are not always right, bookmakers don't make a habit of taking silly bets. A £200,000 bet is lot to pay out on... so if I were a bookie, I'd need to be pretty sure that I won't have to before I'd accept it.


  1. Very Interesting indeed. I am hoping to place a bet on Yes but doing it with more than £250.

    1. Don't know who you will get to take your money... and the risk, Marcia. But good luck. We'll be round to your place for the party when you collect :)

    2. I made a tidy some on the 2011 election predictions. All seats that I had a bet on came in. Now wish I had placed more than £2 on the Shettleston result! Still a few hundred pounds at the end of the campaign was the icing on my cake.

    3. sum - instead of some!

    4. It certainly would be Marcia... and oh what a cake!

      He he... I guessed sum... Isn't English the very devil when you're typing fast. Mind to be fair I do it in French too where so many of the endings of words sound the same but are spelled differently.

      And then there's Gaelic where nothing sounds like it's written anyway (so they tell me).

      Anyway...we'll still all pile at at your place for a party on your winnings...

  2. An interesting story Tris.

    I always base my election predictions partly on the bookies. Follow the money, people and bookies are much more serious than just polling agencies. Money tends to make people take things much more seriously.

    So, interesting story this.

    1. I thought so, Dean. I mean why would they turn down the money unless the real polling showed that they would lose.

      Certainly, based on the published polls, you should get good odds on independence, the average figure for yes (excluding don't knows being somewhere around 40%.

      But maybe the bookies know something that we don't.

  3. Think you're right Tris. Bookies are very shrewd businesses and they are usually not going to take on such large bets from folks if they think they will have to pay out hence their limiting YES bets to £250.

    I must admit to being a wee bit miffed when I first read about this but on reflection I can fully understand why and my miffedness has now disappeared. :-)

    1. I can see that too Arbroath... it takes a moment or two of thought to show that it's cheery news for those of us who are pro-independence.

  4. I don't bet very often, but surely the odds ought to reflect the bookies' understanding of the probabilities? In other words, if they're not happy to take big Yes bets, shouldn't the adjust the odds to make it less likely that people will want to do that?

    1. Hi Thomas. I don't bet either, so I have no understanding of how they do these things, and no knowledge of what the odds are on yes or no.

      But it is interesting that they are prepared to take massive bets on no... and only tiny bets on yes.

      Can anyone who knows about these things give us a reasonable explanation ... or indeed advise on what the current odds are on yes and no?

    2. Thanks CH :)

  5. Tris

    James Kelly at Scot goes Pop might be the guy to explain this as he appears to know his way round a betting slip.

    Myself I think it may be due to the very high odds on offer at present for a Yes vote, the No vote is odds on so I think the payout on the £200k bet is something like £35k.

    Still looks like good news for Yes though, and the scare storys are getting so funny they are now laughable.

    1. Thanks Dubs. I know James reads the blog, so he may have a comment to make...

      He does indeed know a thing or two about betting.

      The scare stories get sillier and although many people don't have the benefit of people like James and Rev Stu, to show them JUST how silly they are... they are getting to the stage where only a moron would believe them.

      I was laughing at that idiot Brown telling us to ditch the Tories not the Uni9on...

      What the hell does he think we did at the last election. We've only got Muddle, on single sorry excuse for an MP and still we have a Tory government...

      If 1/59 isn't ditching them, what is... would getting rid of Muddle make any difference in the weird world of Gordon Brown?

  6. tris

    Well surely donating money to the yes campaign as opposed
    to giving to a betting chain, is a more constructive and patriotic
    thing to do.

    1. Good point Niko.

      Like I said, I'm not much into betting.

      I think I once had a bet at work and a mate put it on for me. I lost.