Gamblers cheer as Australia's economy crashes

Gamblers cheer as Australia's economy crashesSydney - Gamblers who tipped that the government was wrong and that Australia would fall into recession this year were rewarded with big pay-outs Wednesday from internet betting agency Centrebet.

Centrebet financial analyst Neil Evans said the smart money had always been on the economy contracting in two consecutive quarters and that astute gamblers had always discounted claims that billion-dollar stimulus packages would keep the economy growing.

This week Prime Minister Kevin Rudd conceded he was wrong and that the economy would indeed go backwards in 2009.

"The up-side is that plenty of punters have backed the recession ... as well as being a little more emotionally prepared for what might be coming," Evans said.

The government had lashed Centrebet, declaring that making a market in the direction of gross domestic product was "utterly irresponsible" because it preyed on the human misery of job losses, mortgage foreclosures and business bankruptcies.