Sportsbet Predicted a Close Race as Punter Bet $80K on Labor

Michael Kruse / May 23, 2022

As Scott Morrison’s chances of winning the election improved, one punter put all his eggs in the Anthony Albanese basket and backed Labor with an $80,000 bet. However, considering that a $1 million bet on Labor lost in the Australian federal election in 2019, that punter may have wanted to reconsider his options and look for an early cashout.

Punters Looking for Value

Sportsbet said that the last week of the election campaign in Australia was by far the busiest turnover-wise. Sportsbet’s Sean Ormerod claimed that up until Wednesday most bets were on Morrison and the Coalition. However, once Labor went from $1.25 to $1.52, the betting operator “saw an influx of turnover” on that side of the market.

The Coalition started the election campaign priced at $3, mostly due to the series of pandemic-related and bushfire blunders early on in the campaign. That changed recently, though, and Scott Morrison’s odds of winning the federal election rose to $2.65.

However, that also resulted in fewer Australian bettors finding value in backing the Coalition. In contrast, Albanese and Labor started the campaign as the clear front runners, but their chances of winning decreased. With only a day left until voting, Labor had the highest odds since the start of the campaign.

For punters, though, those higher odds meant better value and one Australian bettor took the bold move of placing a massive $80,000 bet on Albanese winning.

Labor Went From Evens to Underdogs to Favourites

But those changes in Labor’s odds are nothing new. The party was even with the Coalition at the start of 2020 and both were priced at $1.88.

However, as Morrison was successful in dealing with the pandemic in early 2021, the Prime Minister’s odds of winning the next election improved. He was priced at $1.35 in February 2021. Needless to change, Labor’s odds were at their highest during this period.

Things started to change by mid-2021. At the end of June, during Sydney’s lockdown, Labor became favourites for the first time when their odds moved to $1.85. That trend continued up until last month when Labor’s odds of winning the election were at $1.25. The federal election race was Labor’s to lose.

 Ladbrokes Made a Massive Profit in 2019

As accurate as odds are these days, the 2019 Australian federal election proves that you can never be too sure about the outcome of a bet. Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes knows that better than most.

The billionaire-turned-climate-activist placed a monster $1 million bet on Labor winning the 2019 election. Labor were odds-on favourites to win as they were priced at $1.16 by Ladbrokes. However, polls proved wrong and Labor lost. Ladbrokes, on the other hand, made a decent profit from one punter alone.

Sportsbet Learning from Past Mistakes

That wasn’t the case with Sportsbet, though. Australia’s largest bookmaker paid out early on Bill Shorten to win the election back then. And since that didn’t happen, the bookmaker was estimated to have lost at least $5.2 million as most bets were on Labor.

The people at Sportsbet now say that they have learnt from their mistakes and won’t do the same thing again. And they won’t have to. Even though Labor are still favourites, the race is expected to be much closer this time.

Sportsbet’s Simon Legg said that people predicted “a Labor romp” in 2019, but that things were different now. He stated that they think that they will have a close result, and had named Anthony Albanese as a slight favourite for the win.

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Michael Kruse
Michael loves all things all horse racing and has been in the game for quite some time. His knowledge in the betting space is second... [Read full bio]

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