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Irish bookie pays off bets on Republicans

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Saying there's no way Democrats can keep control of the House, Ireland's largest bookie on Wednesday said it has already paid off all bettors who wagered the GOP would capture the chamber.

"In our opinion this race is well and truly over with nothing short of a miracle stopping the Republicans taking down the House," said Ken Robertson, communications manager for Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker.

Mr. Robertson said the odds had tipped so much in Republicans' favor it made no sense to continue taking bets. In July Democrats were favored 8-11 to keep control, but by Wednesday the GOP was favored 1-50, meaning it would take a bet of $50 would win just an addition $1.

Wednesday's payoff was not first time Paddy Power has made waves with an early payoff. In 2008, after the final presidential debate between candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, the bookie said there was no way Mr. McCain could win, and paid out more than $1 million on Mr. Obama's victory. And in January, they paid off early on bets for Scott Brown, who won the special election to fill the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's seat.

Other overseas bookies are still taking bets on control of the House. Victor Chandler betting house, for example, gives the GOP 1-25 odds while Betfair gives them 1-10 odds.

The bookies say control of the Senate remains a contested issue, though both Paddy Power and Victor Chandler give Democrats the edge to keep control, at 2-9 odds.

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