As we all know, the vast majority of bettors typically likes to wager either on sports or casino games. Apart from these traditional betting types, some other markets have recently emerged and are quickly gaining increased popularity. One of the fastest growing ones, especially to British and American players, is political betting.
Although considered as a minor market a few years ago, betting on politics and finding value on election odds has become a steady favorite of many punters. That’s not because the common bettor suddenly became a “homo politicus” or a man of politics to put it plainly, but mainly because he managed to discover profitable betting opportunities.
Online bookmakers are carefully nurturing this trend by offering numerous betting odds and options in order to create a more extensive political betting market. They’re active not only on various election days, but also on referendums, bets on next PM, or even predicting the moves of certain political figures.
The bookies actions have been rewarded with a growing interest among players. This was clearly visible at the US elections 2016 and Donald Trump’s victory, where the total revenue exceeded $250 million and completely overtook previous records.
6 tips for improving your political predictions
1. Trust your mind, not your heart. It might seem needless to point out, but betting on politics requires the same procedure as betting on sports, especially when it comes to odds vs. possibilities. What matters is trying to find a valuable bet where the odds are higher than the actual probability of it being confirmed. This means you should not place your money on candidates simply because they hold the same beliefs or have a similar ideology to you, for the same reason it would be unwise to back your favorite football club purely based on emotion.
2. Information is worth its weight in gold. Politics betting is all about analyzing data and having access to reliable sources of information. The “inside information”, only available to few selected people, should be taken into account as long as it’s trustworthy. Given that there are slim chances of having a close friend who works for a political analysis agency, what you should do, is look at independent sources of news, statistics and polls. Especially during the last days before the elections, you’re strongly recommended to follow up on news and place your according bet.
3. Don’t blindly follow the hype. Contrary to sports, political betting is closely knit to a common misconception: “Majority knows best”. Political analysts and exit polls will sometimes massively favor one candidate against another, often due to wrongly conducted surveys, while some other times for reasons unknown. Regardless of why and how, bettors (sometimes even voters) tend to get influenced by estimations that differ significantly from the public opinion and end up losing their bets.
The most stunning example has been Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential election. A few days before the ballots had closed, Trump odds were climbing and Hillary Clinton’s were dropping. Paddy Power was actually so certain of Hillary’s victory that they started paying out anyone who had backed Clinton presidential odds win the night before the election. As it turned out, this publicity stunt cost them around $4.5 million.
4. Conduct your own research. Unless you’re making a living from running surveys, you will find gathering an adequate sample from your personal contacts quite difficult. It’s unreliable, not to mention impolite, to go around asking friends and colleagues on who or what they plan to vote. On the other hand, reading unbiased forum topics or readers’ comments on news sites can offer valuable information, especially during the latter stages of a presidential election campaign. You should also carefully filter your news and latest polls depending on the media you happened to acquire them. If you’re browsing political parties pages, you can rest assured that their views will be exaggerated in order to convince more people to vote for them.
5. Valued odds on minor parties. One of the most overlooked strategies in political betting is backing minor parties. Similar to sports betting, bookmakers are paying more attention to favorites, where the most of money is usually placed. However, wagering on a minor party to surpass the threshold and gain seats in the parliament could be far more valuable than backing the favorite party to win and gain the majority of seats.
6. Social media power. With the rise of “fake news” claims and the fall of conventional media outlets, people rely more and more on social media to keep up with the latest news. A presidential candidate’s social media “faux pas” can shatter his/her chances of winning. Even if you’re not an expert, you just have to follow the major candidates and check how the public responds to their remarks.
Hottest political betting markers in 2017
- Trump betting. Donald Trump’s career as president of the US started with a stunning betting shocker. He’s undoubtedly an “interesting” figure in world politics, so it was only logical that some online bookmakers already offer a whole section of bets about his future actions (listed as Donald Trump’s Specials), from his next country of visiting, the fate of his pre-elections commitments and whether he will be impeached before his term is over (Trexit).
- German federal election. After a series of crucial elections across Europe in less than one year’s time (Spain, Netherlands, UK, France presidential etc.), the German elections scheduled on late September, are the next big thing. A close battle between conservatives CDU/CSU and socialists SPD was expected, however, the current Angela Merkel vs Martin Schulz odds seem to favor the existing female chancellor. There are many other parties in the mix, meaning that betting opportunities are sure to arise.
- Catalan independence referendum. Catalonia is currently considered as an autonomous province in the Spanish kingdom, however, on October 1st locals will be voting on whether they’d like to be declared as an independent republic. Although this referendum is considered illegal by the Spanish government, online bookmakers such as Ladbrokes are nonetheless offering various Catalan Independence Referendum 2017 Odds.
Best bookmakers for political betting
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