Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish
National Party (SNP) Alex Salmond and his deputy leader
Nicola Sturgeon walk in front of a sign indicating the date
of Scotland's independence referendum outside the Scottish
Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland in this March file photo.
Photo by Reuters.
A gambler in England has placed what bookmakers say is
one of the world's biggest ever political bets, wagering
£400,000 that Scots will reject independence in a referendum in
The middle-aged man, who has not been named, spoke with an
English accent as he placed the bet in the prosperous
southern county of Surrey near London at odds of 1/4 on,
meaning he will make £100,000 pounds if he wins, said
bookmakers William Hill.
"As far as we can ascertain this is the biggest political bet
ever struck," said Graham Sharpe, media projects director at
The bet is twice the £200,000, also put on a "no" vote,
staked by a Scottish man earlier in the independence
By way of comparison, a customer similarly gambled £200,000
on David Cameron, now Britain's prime minister, winning the
leadership of his Conservative Party in 2005.
Scots will vote in a referendum on September 18 on whether to
leave the United Kingdom. Polls currently suggest roughly 40
percent of Scots will vote against independence and 30
percent will vote for, but many voters remain undecided.
William Hill believe they will turn over more than £1 million
in bets on the independence outcome.
The bookmakers said they had shortened their odds on a "no"
vote to 1/5, suggesting this was now more likely to happen
than previously thought. Their odds on a "yes" vote stand at
10/3, meaning winners getting £10 back for every £3 they bet.