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2/1 for a 2:1? Ladbrokes to let students bet on their final marks


Ladbrokes is offering students the chance to gamble on a first when starting their degrees.

The bookmaker is now giving odds on any fresher’s degree classification at 20 of the UK’s top universities.

Odds are produced based on an algorithm which calculates the likelihood of different grades based on the student’s university, what they’re studying and their A-level results.

The scheme came about after one student’s father attempted to bet enough money to cover his daughter’s tuition fees on her picking up a first in her Veterinary Sciences degree.

Alex Donohue, in charge of organising the scheme, told The Independent: “Every year we get requests from parents who want to back their pride and joy to go on and get top grades at universities.

“We decided to build a site that streamlines the process and sets it up in a more formal way.”

However, Dirk Hansen, chief executive of gambling charity GamCare raised concerns about the new betting scheme.

"We often receive calls from students who have gotten themselves into a great deal of financial trouble because they are not prepare for the risks of gambling.

“This example of gambling so specifically tied to student life is concerning to us."

With figures from last year indicating that 64 per cent of UK students achieve a 2:1, it is unsurprising that candidates at the most of the universities on the list tend to be as low as evens to achieve the upper second-class classification.

But for those hoping to come out of university with a first, the odds are more appealing, whilst those with low expectations can go for the ‘last past the post’ option of a third-class degree.

The site is initially being rolled out on a two-month trial but if the option proves popular there are plans to make it a permanent feature of Ladbrokes’ site and it could be expanded to other universities.

“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”, Donohue said.

However, with a maximum stake of £10 and maximum win of £1,000, the gamble will only go some way to paying back today’s £9,000-a-year tuition fees.