September 14, 2008

Punters Make a Killing on Crash

CANNY pundits made a killing on the collapse of holiday airline and travel agent XL this week.

Bookmaker Paddy Power decided to open a book on which airline in Britain would be the next to collapse on Wednesday afternoon.

The bookie listed odds on dozens of airlines, but XL wasn't even on the list. It was only added at the request of a punter, but it quickly became the hot favourite.

The odds were slashed in an effort to hedge the bets that piled on from canny gamblers on Wednesday evening.

But even when XL was listed as odds-on to be the next airline to collapse, at 4/6, some punters were still attempting to place bets of hundreds of pounds.

Paddy Power were forced to stop taking bets on the market on Thursday evening, hours before the firm ceased trading at around 2am on Friday morning.

It is now estimated that the bookmaker could have lost a six figure sum in the speculation on XL's future.

The bookmaker is still taking bets on the market, with Air Berlin the current favourite at 7/1 to become the first airline to follow XL into administration or bankrupcy.

Meanwhile, XL's 12 staff in Ireland have revealed that they were given no warning that they were about to lose their jobs by management along with the 1,700 in the UK.

(c) 2008 Sunday Mirror; London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.