Gambler rewarded for $1.87 million bet on Scottish "No"

Gambler rewarded for $1.87 million bet on Scottish "No"

LONDON - A London-based gambler enjoyed winnings of almost 200,000 pounds (S$417,000) on Friday after making a record political bet on Scotland rejecting independence in a referendum.

The high roller was rewarded after staking a total of 900,000 pounds on a "No" vote in four big wagers placed since June at a betting shop in southwest London, bookmaker William Hill said.

Bookmakers are keen to promote political betting as a useful sideline to their sporting staples of gambling on horse racing and football.

William Hill, Britain's largest bookmaker, said it took around 3 million pounds of bets on the referendum.

The figure was triple the sum staked with the company on the last British general election in 2010 and roughly equivalent to the amount of betting it expects for a big football match in the English Premier League.

The odds offered by bookmakers had indicated that they believed that Scots would spurn independence in the historic referendum.

Online gambling company Betfair even paid out early to some customers who had backed a "No" vote, declaring the outcome a certainty 48 hours before polling day.

Opinion polls had suggested the decision could be very close but in the event unionists took 55 per cent of the vote while separatists won 45 per cent.

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