Ladbrokes punters pile in on no deal Brexit after Commons vote

Matthew Shaddick – Ladbrokes

Brexit has dominated headlines for the last two and a half years, with less than 60 days to go until the UK is due to leave Europe. Both the EU and UK remain uncertain as to whether or not a deal, that will be agreed upon by both parties, can be reached by 29 March.

In Tuesday’s vote, MPs voted down the Cooper amendment, which sought to postpone the date of Brexit until a deal could be reached.  A no-deal scenario would have huge ramifications for the UK racing and gambling industries, effectively putting an end to the tripartite agreement and raising questions as to UK operations in Gibraltar.

However, the political turmoil is good for bookmakers on one regard – it is food and drink for the political betting markets.

Bookmakers such as Ladbrokes are beginning to see more punters shifting expectations towards a no-deal, with a flurry of bets wagered on the possibility. Matt Shaddick, Head of Politics Betting at Ladbrokes Coral, told SBC: “The chances of the UK leaving with No Deal on 29 March have increased, according to Ladbrokes punters at any rate.

“The 3/1 was well backed from the moment the Cooper Amendment was voted down, and that’s now a 5/2 shot.”

The operator’s political division has seen fewer bets wagered on the possibility of a second people’s vote, which has meant that the bookie has needed to shorten its odds.

Shaddick reaffirmed the Brexit disarray, pointing out that the industry is still doubtful of what is to come: “The Brexit outcome didn’t really get a lot clearer on Tuesday night, but bookmakers’ hopes for a second referendum, which would likely have been the biggest political betting event ever, seem to have taken a blow,” he added.

“The prospects of a People’s Vote seem to be fading, very few people want to bet on that happening any more and we have pushed out a 2019 Referendum to 3/1, having been as short as 7/4 a week or so ago.”

With fewer supporting an additional referendum, Ladbrokes are predicting that Theresa May’s immediate future is looking to be much more secure as time passes. Odds have dropped to 1/7 in favour of May still being Prime Minister on 1 April, however, a general election is still in the running.

Shaddick said: “An early general election is still a runner if the money is any guide; a March 2019 vote has shortened to 6/1.”

Punters may be waiting to see the outcome of further Brexit negotiations in Brussels in the coming days, and the results of discussions with the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar regarding the future of the Northern Irish border. But until then, the industry will remain unsettled.


SBC’s Betting on Football event which will be held the week before the withdrawal agreement deadline, from the 19-22 March, will be discussing the implications of Brexit on the betting industries in the UK and Gibraltar.

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