Global Politics

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Gambling — the one thing that can truly make anything exciting. If you’re anything like us then you’ll like to gamble on everything. These days we can’t watch a game of football, hockey or anything else for that matter without betting a few bucks on it. We’re not just talking about the big professional leagues either, as you’ll also find us running a book on our nephew’s Little League games. Sport is great at getting the heart pumping and the blood flowing, but when you add gambling to the mix then you have an experience that can not be topped. But what about one of the most boring things known to man: politics. Is it possible that gambling can make that exciting as well?

The answer is a simple and resounding yes, and thanks to sites like BetFair, who run extensive markets on all major political events, you can bet on International elections from the comfort of your own home. Need a valid reason to get excited about voting for Useless Clone 1 and Useless Clone 2 in the US 2016 Presidential Race? Seeking a reason to care about Eton Toff A or Eton Toff B in the 2015 UK Election Race? Gambling is the answer, as is so often the case.

For instance, with the aforementioned UK Election Race just around the corner, the betting markets are already heating up on the BetFair betting exchange, and these markers are generally available for all major political events, in all countries. This includes Canada, where BetFair is widely used and is quickly becoming the most popular online betting site in the country.

The markets covered have been discussed below, using the imminent US and UK races as an example.

The Main Market

The market that attracts the most custom is the one that offers odds on who will be the next Prime Minister or President. The UK race is a close one, with many expecting another collation to be formed (because the last one worked so well…) but there are still plenty of odds on this market with labour leader Ed Miliband leading the way. A $10 bet on him will only give a profit of $8 or so, plus your stake returned, whilst if you put your money on right-wing outsider Farage then you can make $150 from a $1 bet, whilst you can get even more by staking your money on the current London mayor to (somehow) make it.

In the US Presidential Race, Hilary Clinton is currently the favourite to become the first female President of the United States. A bet on her will not return a huge profit, but you can get significantly more if you bet on Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, among others.

It is usually best to leave these things late, unless of course you have a good idea of who will be picked to lead each party and who will get an early lead on the opinion polls. It has been suggested for a long time that Hilary Clinton will represent the Democrats in the forthcoming election, so you could have got in early there, but the bookmakers have also had her at the top of the market for a long time and her odds for a win have never been particularly inviting. In fact, during Obama’s quest for the White House she was also near the top of the markets with a price not too dissimilar to what she is now.

The Side Bets

In both of these races, and many others around the world, you can bet on which party and which leader will win the most votes in certain regions. This is usually easier to predict as voters in certain regions usually vote one party and have done for many years. Of course, this means that their odds will not be great, but there are times when you can use this to your advantage. If there is a lot of animosity towards a certain party or leader in an area that typically votes for them, then the bookmakers will be torn. The odds will be up in the air and ripe for the plucking. Examples of these include certain regions in the US that had previously voted Democrat, only to be disappointed and disgruntled at the perceived way that that particular party handled the economy or the healthcare system. In the UK, there are several regions that used to vote Conservative, and have since begun a switch-over to UKIP, an even-more right-wing group whose anti-immigration policies have split the country. There are also those who used to side with the left-wing Liberal Democrats, only to be disappointed at their inaction during the current coalition government, one which has seen them slip from being one of the country’s main parties and one that has always been seen as the third biggest and most popular, into a fringe party that is being overtaken by other fringe parties.

If you like to think that you know your stuff, then these markets can earn you a lot of money. You don’t have to know the mentality of each and every region either, because if such a swing is happening in your own region then you can use it to your advantage.

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