Sportsbet’s massive $5.2m election loss
MILLIONS of Aussies were left with their head in their hands over the weekend as the Coalition pulled off a miracle win.
But none more so than betting agency Sportsbet who, by last night, had paid out more than $5 million to election punters.
The agency, and most of Australia, was so sure of a Labor win it opted to reward punters two days ahead of the votes being counted.
Over $1.3 million was paid out to those who threw money behind Bill Shorten and the Labor Party.
It's worth noting one of the main reasons betting agencies pay out punters early is so they reinvest the money into another event, a tactic that has proved extremely successful.
But the real loss to the agency came from paying out those who bet on Scott Morrison and the Coalition to win.
At one point, odds on the Coalition had hit $7.50.
Seven out of every 10 bets relating to the federal election were put on Labor winning, with Sportsbet previously boasting that punters had backed the party into "Winx-like odds of $1.16".
Despite the multimillion-dollar hit, the betting agency sees the humour in its huge loss.
Sportsbet markets had previously predicted Labor would claim 82 seats in the election, leaving the Coalition with 63.
Instead, the Coalition has won 75 seats with potentially more wins to come.
"The quality of toilet paper and stationery will need to be significantly decreased at the Sportsbet offices to cover these costs, and we can only keep the heaters on for two hours a day, but in the end, we have a result where most of our punters on a market are winners," Sportsbet spokesman Richard Hummerston told The Age and SMH.
The betting agency also saw the bright side of the situation, taking a jab at billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer who poured $80 million of his own fortune into the election but failed to see success.
As Sportsbet sits licking its wounds, spare a thought for a NSW man who instead put his money into a Ladbrokes bet, an agency that did not pay out early.
The anonymous punter put $1 million on a Labor win and could've won $230,000 if Mr Shorten was successful.
The bet, the largest in Ladbrokes history, instead went into the agency's pocket.
Labor had entered the race grappling with a low popularity rating for Mr Shorten, a 52-year-old former union boss widely seen as having a pallid personality.
Rather than frame the election as a battle between him and the more outgoing Mr Morrison, Labor strategists instead pushed a broad platform of policies.
"I'm disappointed for people who depend upon Labor, but I'm glad that we argued what was right, not what was easy," Mr Shorten told supporters.
Mr Shorten would have been Australia's sixth prime minister in six years had he been elected.