Falkirk punters are flocking to back a Yes vote in next Thursday’s referendum on Scottish independence.
With the polls tightening but odds still favouring No, bookmakers have reported a surge in bets predicting defeat for the Better Together campaign on September 18.
One Falkirk punter has staked £500 at odds of 3/1 that a majority of voters will decide to end Scotland’s 300-year union with England.
William Hill said that in Falkirk it had received 75 bets in shops and online backing Yes - but only four backing No.
Ladbrokes and McBookie also said they had received a surge of bets from across the district on a No defeat, with gamblers attracted by the longer odds on a Yes vote and the momentum the pro-independence campaign has built up in recent days.
“There’s a mixture of reasons why gamblers are betting on Yes,” said Paul Petrie of McBookie. “The best value has been in a Yes vote. Two weeks ago, the odds of a No vote were 1/7 and 5/1 for Yes. And the momentum now appears to be with the Yes campaign.”
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “In betting terms Falkirk appears to be a ‘Yes’ stronghold. One punter in particular will walk away with a decent windfall should Scotland chose independence.”
“We now expect the betting turnover on the referendum to exceed the last General and US Presidential elections combined,” said Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe.
“The closer we move to polling day the greater the betting interest seems to be. Last Wednesday alone we have taken bets of £8000; £2000; £1200 and £1000 for a Yes vote.”
Nationally, 95 per cent of bets taken by Hills have backed a Yes vote.
A Yes spokesman said: “Clearly, people are backing a Yes because they believe that our positive vision of a fairer and better Scotland is a winner. They’re no longer prepared to jump over Westminster’s hurdles to secure their families’ futures. We’re very much in the race and working hard to be first past the post in the poll next Thursday.”