Sportsbet loses $5.2 million in election blunder

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The country’s most popular bookmaker, Sportsbet, has made a costly error by paying out all bets on Labor to win the Federal Election last Thursday. 

The mistake is estimated to have cost Sportsbet around $5.2 million after Scott Morrison and the Coalition pulled off one of the biggest political upsets in recent history over the weekend. 

The agency decided to make the bold ploy just two days out from the election, in what was both a crafty marketing move and a signal that the election race was practically over. 

The largest loss that Sportsbet incurred to an individual punter was reportedly $128,000.

In the aftermath, Sportsbet was quick to poke fun at themselves while simultaneously making the most of their make-shift advertising campaign. 

With all bets placed on Labor before Thursday being paid out, any bets placed after the initial payout were not subject to the same conditions. 

Given this, the bookmaker likely recuperated much of its losses by attracting punters who were keen to place last minute bets, with one punter dropping close to $1 million on election day.

Sportsbet is well-known for its “early pay-out’ promotions”, offering similar promotions on the AFL and NRL. Perhaps most infamously, the bookmaker returned all bets on the final two contestants on the 2018 season of The Bachelor. 

Such promotions have helped Sportsbet position itself as the nation’s premier bookmaker.

Given that Sportsbet paid $490.5 million in marketing and promotional endeavors between January 2013 and June 2018, the agency likely wasn’t overly concerned with its election mistake. 

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