Bookies pay out early on Hamilton punts

Wed, 13 June 2007, 01:17

The hype surrounding Lewis Hamilton is now beginning to bear fruit, with the McLaren rookie and championship leader’s formula one success even impacting the world of gambling.

Leading bookmakers PartyBets and Paddy Power announced this week that they are already paying out on bets that the 22-year-old will win the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award — five months before the result has even been decided.

The betting outfits are taking their own gamble that, after Hamilton’s breakthrough win in the Canadian grand prix, he has done enough to guarantee the British prize even with the Rugby World Cup and Wimbledon yet to be played.

“However, it is all over in our eyes, there is no way Hamilton will not become the BBC Sports Personality of the Year,” a spokesman said.

Hamilton has also moved clear of his world champion teammate Fernando Alonso as the bookmakers’ favourite to lift the drivers’ crown, despite starting the season 25/1 for the title.

Ferrari’s early favourite Kimi Raikkonen, meanwhile, has blown out odds of 10/1.

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