Betfair, Paddy Power and ‘all our pension funds’ are set to merge into the world’s most irresponsible gambling company – China™. Punters will be able to speculate 24/7 on fickle share prices, cocaine-fuelled investment analysts and the ‘three-thirty at Newmarket’.
The Shanghai Composite has already fallen 16% in week, due to an accumulator bet involving the success of three rank-outsiders – Jeremy Corbyn, Leicester City FC and ‘peace with Iran’. One excited gambler said: ‘It’s a real adrenaline rush, betting my mortgage on everyone else’s mortgage. And for once, the odds are really stacked against the banker’.
China’s central bank has agreed to cut the key lending rate and accept 20-1 odds on Arsenal winning the Premiership. Elsewhere in Asia, the news caused a drop in Japan’s Nikkei, South Korea’s Kospi and ‘all hope for the future’. A Beijing official said: ‘There is no cause for alarm – the Chinese economy has been around for three thousand years. The Ancient Egyptians don’t have a monopoly on pyramid schemes you know’.
The deal eclipses last year’s merger between Ladbrokes and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Paddy Power and Betfair investors will retain a controlling stake in the business, while the remaining shares will be held by the Illuminati, Donald Trump and John McCririck. Existing shareholders will receive a special dividend of half the world’s economy or Simon Cowell’s wallet – whichever is bigger.