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Shortest odds on 'In' since EU vote date was announced: bookmaker

Campaigners hold placards as British Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech at a 'Stronger In' campaign event in Witney, Oxfordshire, Britain, 14 May 2016. REUTERS/WILL OLIVER / POOL

LONDON (Reuters) - British bookmaker William Hill said on Monday it was offering an “In” vote at the shortest odds since the date of next month’s referendum on European Union membership was announced in February.

It said odds on “In” had shortened to 1/6, implying an 85 percent chance of the country deciding to remain in the EU, compared with 1/5 (83 percent) previously. “Out” was at the longest odds yet at 4/1 (20 percent) from 10/3 (23 percent).

On Feb. 20, the day the referendum date was confirmed, Hills offered 2/7 “In” and 5/2 “Out”.

A spokesman for William Hill said 79.2 percent of all the stake money taken was for “In” but 64.4 percent of individual bets struck have been for “Out”.

As opinion polls have given sharply different pictures of the public mood, many investors are watching betting odds closely. Odds have consistently indicated a high probability of an “In” result in the June 23 referendum.

Reporting by Stephen Addison; editing by William Schomberg