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Scottish Independence Odds Cut After Nationalists Set Out Vision

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Scotland's Saltire Flag Flies over Edinburgh Castle
The Saltire flag, the national flag of Scotland, flies over Edinburgh castle as tourists visit in Edinburgh. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The odds of Scotland becoming independent were cut by William Hill Plc to reflect the latest betting after nationalist leaders set out their vision for how the new state might look.

The bookmaker increased the likelihood of a “yes” vote in the referendum scheduled for Sept. 18, 2014, to 9-2 from 5-1, meaning a customer would get 9 pounds ($14.70) for every 2 pounds staked. The odds at Ladbrokes Plc were unchanged at 5-1.

“Since the publication of the detailed plans for independence earlier in the week, we have seen a small surge of support for a ‘yes’ vote and trimmed our odds accordingly,” William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said by e-mail today.

The Scottish government unveiled its 650-page blueprint for an independent state by March 2016, leaving the 306-year-old U.K. while keeping the pound as its currency and the monarch as its head of state. The most recent TNS BMRB poll showed support among voters for going it alone trailing those in favor of the status quo by 18 percentage points.

“We have started seeing some bigger bets for ‘yes,’ but we want to try and hold the odds as long as we can to keep them attractive,” Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Donohue said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodney Jefferson in Edinburgh at r.jefferson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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