Greece voted ‘No’ in a referendum on Sunday over whether to accept the latest bailout terms from its European creditors.
It was a surprise not only because the vote was so lopsided — 61% ‘No’ against 39% ‘Yes’ — but because some betting sites actually paid out on a ‘Yes’ vote.
Paddy Power, which is based in Ireland and runs one of the most popular online gambling books for things like political and financial events, paid out bettors who said Greece would vote ‘Yes’ on July 1, 5 days before Greece even went to the polls.
And so in an email to Bloomberg on Monday, Paddy Power basically said: “My bad.”
Paddy Power told Bloomberg that it “got a little overexcited” in paying out bets, adding that, “Paddy Power is feeling a little red faced this morning after calling the Greek referendum wildly wrong.”
In a note to clients following the results, analysts at Societe Generale wrote that, “Again, like with the Scottish referendum and the UK general election, the polling companies’ predictions have proved wrong and, until the last minute, markets continued to believe the vote would be extremely close based on the latest surveys.”
The firm added, “If listed anywhere, one should sell polling companies as they are of little use — something to remember for the UK referendum in a while.”
And so big questions in Greece remain — the country doesn’t, for one thing, have a new finance minister yet — but everyone wants to know what happens next. Unfortunately, even some of the broadest predictions on what happens next were wrong last time and will probably be wrong again.
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