The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Ladbrokes: How to really profit off a University Education

A new gambling scheme allows you to place a £10 on your final degree grade

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Ever wondered how to really make money of your university degree? Ladbrokes appear to have found a solution.

In a new Ladbrokes betting service, students entering their first year can bet on – or have a bet placed on – what their final degree classification will be.

“We always get requests for degree bets at this time of year so we thought we’d launch a dedicated service with a ‘microsite’ for the first time to cater for the demand,” said Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes.

The online service uses a computer algorithm to calculate the odds of a given student getting anything from a first to a third. All a bettor need do is enter the name of the university, course and three best A-levels  – and to collect any winnings, produce relevant graduation documents.

The betting giant said they are targeting the scheme not at students, but at their parents, friends, and family – who would not need permission to place bets.

Donohue added, “Instead of the bank of mum and dad, this service could help give parents some return as they bank on their children’s academic progress.”

The bookmaker is trialling the scheme with what they consider to be 20 of the country’s most popular universities – including University of Manchester – in a two-month test period ending in October.

There is currently a maximum stake of £10 and return of £1000, but to win this would require odds of 100/1, which for the average student is not offered.

When The Mancunion tried out the odds calculator, the best return for University of Manchester was a straight-A student studying Medicine or Law, where the odds of a first were 11/2 and for a third 9/1, respectively.

The average stake placed so far has been between £5 and £10, and there are no plans to increase the limit, Ladbrokes said in a statement to The Mancunion.

“We don’t think that increasing the stake would have any bearing on developing this project,” they said, adding, “As for the future, the most logical step is to expand the number of courses and subjects.”

When asked about concerns raised by gambling awareness charities, such as Gamcare, that the scheme will encourage gambling among students, the bookmaker declined to comment, saying only, “The service isn’taimed at students directly but their parents [and] family.”

The volumes of gamblers using the scheme is unclear, however the bookmaker said, “We are currently equipped to deal with a volume of bets up to 5/6 times more than we are currently taking.”

Speaking to The Mancunion, 3rd year Manchester student Robert Clark was unsure about the scheme.

“I don’t believe that it is ethical for parents to be betting on their children and it also creates new pressures for students to perform for their parents,” Clark said.

Second-year Manchester Student Brian Cunningham felt the money might help as an incentive to study harder.

“Financial motivation to get a higher grade in my degree would definitely make me work harder,” he said.

Bets where the student in question fails to complete their degree or changes course will be considered as losers, said Ladbrokes.

  • random

    “When The Mancunion tried out the odds calculator, the best return for University of Manchester was a straight-A student studying Medicine or Law, where the odds of a first were 11/2 and for a third 9/1, respectively.”

    Slight miscalculation in the odds there given that the MbCHB isn’t awarded as an honours degree. Ladbrokes’ confusion is somewhat understood – but surely we can expect the SU to have a bit of a firmer grasp on the finer details of Academia.

    • random

      *MBChB