A sports betting agency has paid a hefty price after a pre-election decision came back to bite them when the Coalition stormed to victory.
Many pre-polling figures and exit polls had Labor on course to win the 2019 Federal election, prompting some bookies into premature action.
ELECTION 2019: What a Coalition government means for your wallet
Sportsbet was one such organisation to make an early call after deciding to pay out bets on Labor winning, two days before the votes had even started being counted.
The betting agency released a statement on Thursday saying they had paid out more than $1.3 million on Bill Shorten’s party to claim the Federal election victory.
— Sportsbet.com.au (@sportsbetcomau) May 15, 2019
— Brendan Bradford (@1bbradfo) May 18, 2019
Sportsbet explained the factors behind its early payout call, suggesting the election result was a mere formality.
“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.
By Saturday evening when it became increasingly clearer that Scott Morrison’s Coalition would be voted in by the public, that suggestion from Sportsbet looked rather silly.
To the betting agency’s credit, however, they were quick to poke fun at their own monumental election gaffe.
— Sportsbet.com.au (@sportsbetcomau) May 18, 2019