Greece is causing a huge headache for bookmakers right now.
William Hill, one of Britain’s bookmakers, has stopped taking bets on whether Greece will leave the EU, saying the situation is too volatile. Ladbrokes, another of the so-called “Big Four” bookies in the UK, is also considering closing its book on Greece, a spokesperson told Business Insider over email.
William Hill’s spokesperson Graham Sharpe told Business Insider over email: “In such a volatile situation in which events can move very quickly it is very difficult to be confident that our odds are accurate. The only option people have been wanting to back for the past couple of days is that Grexit will happen this year and as we can no longer hope to balance our market, we have decided to pull the plug.”
Basically, all the money is being bet on Greece leaving the Eurozone this year. Bookies adjust their odds to make sure they reflect how likely any outcome is, but at the moment it’s just too close to call. And because not enough people are betting on Greece staying in, it’s getting more and more likely William Hill will lose money. Therefore it’s throwing in the towel on the whole thing.
Before it stopped taking bets, William Hill offered 3/1 odds on a Grexit this year, meaning if you bet £1 you’d get £3 back. It also means William Hill thinks there’s a 25% chance of Greece leaving Europe this year.
Greece is now William Hill’s 1/3 favourite to be the first country to leave the European Union, with the UK second favourite at 4/1 and Hungary third favourite at 12/1.
Paddy Power, another of the “Big Four,” is still taking bets, with odds of 11/8 that Greece will leave the Eurozone this year. That means Paddy Power is much more bullish about a Grexit — those odds work out at a 57% chance of an exit.
Coral, the final bookie in Britain’s “Big Four,” also continues to not bets on Greece.