FOR THE FIRST time, Slovaks will be able to bet on the results of general elections this year.
Stanislav Žiačik, the director of the Tipos betting agency, announced on May 9 that the Finance Ministry had approved the holding of election betting.
"I expect we will not be the only betting agency that will announce rates for the election results," Žiačik said, adding that betting should not influence the election results.
At the moment it is only possible to bet over the Internet. The odds-on favorite is the opposition Smer party, to which Tipos has assigned odds of 1.07. This means that people who bet that Smer will win the elections will win 1.07 times their stakes.
People will also be able to bet on the name of the future prime minister, the number of parties that will win seats in parliament, the election results of individual parties, as well as the voter turnout.
Tipos rated the likelihood that Robert Fico, the chairman of Smer, would become the next Slovak prime minister at 1.85. The agency noted, however, that it would be adjusting the odds in order to regulate its own risk, the Pravda daily wrote.
Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
10. May 2006 at 12:42