The market may be scratching its head over the outcome of this Sunday's Greek referendum, soaring on the faintest trace of good news such as the report of Tsirpas' capitulation this morning then reluctantly selling off as the euphoria is rejected, but for the bookies the outcome is now clear: earlier today Ireland's Paddy Power announced it has "paid out five figures" in winnings to gamblers who bet that Greece will back a July 5 austerity referendum that may seal the nation’s future as part of the euro region.
Cited by Kathimerini, Paddy Power - Ireland’s largest bookmaker - said in an e-mail in Dublin on Wednesday that "Despite some polls suggesting it’s neck and neck, over the last few days we’ve seen enough to be convinced. In a race with two potential outcomes we’ve seen over 85 percent of money go one way and that’s massive."
It adds that gambling companies routinely pay out early on sporting events when they regard the result as a foregone conclusion, in part because it draws publicity and in part because gamblers often recycle winnings into other wagers.
Which is surprising because just a few hours earlier, a poll conducted between June 28-30 and published in the Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, showed 54 percent of those planning to vote in Sunday's referendum would oppose the bailout against 33 percent in favor.
According to Reuters, "a majority of Greeks would vote 'No' to the terms of a proposed bailout deal by foreign lenders but the lead narrowed significantly after banks were closed this week, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday. However, a breakdown of results between those polled before and after Sunday's decision to close the banks and impose capital controls showed the gap narrowing."
More details on the poll:
Of those polled before the announcement of the bank closures, 57 percent said they would vote No against 30 percent for who would vote Yes. Of those polled after, the No's were at 46 percent against 37 percent for Yes.
The poll showed support for 'No' strongest among voters of the ruling leftist Syriza party (77 percent), the far-right Golden Dawn party (80 percent) and the Communist KKE (57 percent).
Support for 'Yes' was strongest among voters of the center-right New Democracy (65 percent), the pro-European centrist To Potami (68 percent) and the center-left Pasok (65 percent).
The poll, by the ProRata institute, showed 86 percent of those surveyed planned to vote, with 50 percent backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' decision to hold a referendum with 38 percent against.
No votes were strongest among the unemployed (62 percent), and more No votes than Yes were polled in all categories classified, comprising entrepreneurs, the self-employed, public and private sector pensioners and employees and housewives.
In other words, despite the early payout, at least one poll has the "Oxi's" ahead despite their lead declining, a lead which will surely tumble if the ECB imposes haircuts on Greek deposits ahead of this weekend.
But the most confusing outcome would be if, as some have rumored, Tsipras announces he is witthdrawing the referendum when he makes his televized appearance before the Greek nation in a few minutes.
Will Paddy Power be forced to collect its payouts then? In 2003, Paddy Power paid out early on Arsenal winning the title, which was eventually won by Manchester United.
To be sure, the outcome of an error has far greater macroeconomic consequences this time around.