FOCUS SHORT

Presidential betting attracts action

IN 2009 betting parlours offered the chance to bet on the winner of Slovakia’s presidential election. Ivan Gašparovič, who won the election, was favoured in both rounds of the election.

IN 2009 betting parlours offered the chance to bet on the winner of Slovakia’s presidential election. Ivan Gašparovič, who won the election, was favoured in both rounds of the election.

The Niké betting company reported that it lost €66,388 when an unexpectedly large number of people, about 12,000, put their money on the race, with only about 10 percent tipping Iveta Radičová to win. In the run-off election the number of bettors was even higher.

With Niké, the bettors put down about €215,000 on Gašparovič’s victory. The odds on each candidate changed over the course of the campaign. It started at 1.5:1 for a Gašparovič victory and 3.4:1 for Radičová. Later the odds for Gašparovič shortened to 1.2:1 and lengthened to 4:1 for Radičová.

A Košice citizen landed the biggest win when he bet €5,000 on Gašparovič when the odds were 1.5:1 and walked away with €7,500.

“This was the highest bet,” said Niké’s director-general, Otto Berger, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “There was a large number who bet €100, or a few hundred euros. Actually, we were the first to know how the election would turn out because those betting would not put money on one candidate and then vote for the other.”

Niké also offered the opportunity to place bets on the actual percentage of votes that individual candidates would get in the presidential election, on which candidates would advance to the second round, and even on the voter turnout.

The Fortuna SK betting company also offered bets on the presidential election and had players submitting between 1,200 and 1,300 wagers. The total amount in the pot for Gašparovič was around €50,000 and his odds were at first 1.4:1, decreasing later to 1.25:1. Radičová drew bettors laying down a total of €10,000 and the odds for her success started at 2.5:1 and gradually lengthened to 3.5:1. The highest pay out by Fortuna SK was €700.


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