Archive for the ‘Betting’ Category

The political speculator’s diary: No false modesty here. Late acting on my post!

April 8th, 2015 Comments off

No false modesty here. Late acting on my post!

dollar trades

Click to enlarge

I prefer the explanation that the lads just took some time to act on my post of yesterday.

Anyway there was another modest collect with $82 jumping in which at least put me modestly in front on my interest rate predictions.

The all-time profit on all predictions now stands at $1252.49. (See The portfolio – the record so far for full details).

So far this calendar year we have had a turnover of $700 for a profit of $542).

This blog, as well as being a bit of fun, does have the serious purpose of letting people check my record as a political pundit. I note that not many of me peers are game to keep a score sheet.

via The political speculator’s diary: No false modesty here. Late acting on my post!.

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Backing Labour’s Millliband to become UK Prime Minister

April 4th, 2015 Comments off

The opinion polls have the UK election at level pegging. The market has the Conservatives at $1.51 to win the most seats. On Betfair David Cameron is $1.75 to continue as Prime Minister after the election with Labour’ David Milliband at $2.34. To me those odds just don’t make sense.

Here is how The Guardian assesses what the current polls would produce:

(Click to enlarge)

Sure the Conservatives by that calculation should be a narrow favourite on the most seats market. But Cameron favourite to continue as PM?
Here is how The Independent assessed things this morning:

Because Labour-held constituencies are smaller than Conservative ones, it is easier for Labour to win most seats. Even though Labour continues to be at risk of heavy losses in Scotland, our latest seat projection puts the party on 293 seats, eighteen ahead of the Conservatives on 275.
With Nick Clegg projected to secure just 16 seats, the Prime Minister would be left with too few allies to be able to sustain a government. The 48 MPs that might be won by the SNP together with their Welsh and Green allies would be able to carry out their threat to block Mr Cameron’s path back to power.

Yet this how the Betfair markets have moved.
Winner of most seats
PM after next election

I already have had a couple of investments on Labour to win the most seats (see Details HERE). But to me the most likely result is a hung parliament and that the Scottish National Party will end up giving the initial nod to David Milliband. Hence my 100 unit investment on him at the $2.34.

Categories: Betting, UK election Tags:

Backing Malcolm Turnbull

February 26th, 2015 Comments off

For Tony Abbott it’s just going from bad to worse. I cannot see how he will keep his Liberal Party leadership.
I’m suggesting what for me is a major investment. 200 at the currently available $1,46 that Malcolm Turnbull will be Liberal leader at the next federal election.

See The Speculator’s Diary

Here is the latest Owl indicator.

liberal leader indicaior

Categories: Betting, Political indicators Tags:

Punting on the Oscars – it’s Birdman for me

February 22nd, 2015 Comments off

I’m reverting to my normal practice of assuming that the punters don’t get the favourite in short enough when betting on elections. Hence 100 on Birdman at $1.70 to be best picture at the Oscars.

At least it makes watching more interesting.

My record on election betting isn’t bad either. See The Political Speculator’ Diary

Here’s the Owl’s Election Indicator:

best picture indicator

Categories: Betting, Political indicators Tags:

An election designed to be about entertainment – Oscar voting

February 10th, 2015 Comments off

And now for an election designed to be about entertainment.

10-02-2015 best movie oscar indicator

Rupert was feigning disinterest this morning but his Fox Searchlight Pictures does distribute Birdman – the favourite for Best Picture.

10-02-2015 murdochvoting

Good to see the boss man being impartial and not trying to influence the voters. Just the same as he is with those editorial writers at The Wall Street Journal.

10-02-2015 murdochinfluence

I really must apologise for the innuendo in my earlier post Echoes of his master’s voice – Credlin should go




Categories: Betting, Political indicators Tags:

Interest rate betting fun is back

February 3rd, 2015 Comments off

I must say it’s fun for those of us who like an occasional flutter on something other than sport that the Reserve Bank has returned its official interest rate setting to the agenda. This afternoon’s decision is the first for months in which there has been any value in backing your opinion.


Maybe it’s just because I want an added satisfaction should the Herald Sun’s Terry McCrann prove wrong in his prediction of a rate rise but I’m recommending a little of the $1.73 at Betfair that the bank board decides on no change. 50 units invested. See my betting blog, where I’m sweating on a Labor Party win in Queensland, for details of this and other wagers



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Measuring the success of a commentator

February 1st, 2015 Comments off

Predictions are two a penny when it comes to elections and other public affairs events but I find it concentrates the mind to put my opinions to the test, on the record. Hence my little blog The political speculator’s diary. Here was my offering just after Campbell Newman called his election.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Queensland Opportunity and I’m risking a little on Labor

A state election on 31 January – something to put some interest into the silly season for political junkies. And, methinks, an opportunity.
I have no inside information but I am puzzled that the bookies have the Queensland LNP Government as short as they are this evening. The pollsters put it at 50:50.
I’m starting my betting with 100 units on Labor at the generally available $3.80
With hindsight it’s clear I made one mistake. I should have waited a little longer when the price about Labor blew out to $9.
Categories: Betting Tags:

Arsene Wenger is a great economist

January 26th, 2015 Comments off
  • Frederic Bastiat and football punditry – “In the day job I call Arsene Wenger a great economist. I’m making a serious point. … there is a close affinity between economics and sport; each can illuminate the other. I suspect you could learn more about economics from football than you could from the empty suits at Davos this week. “
  • U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit – Animal Welfare at Risk in Experiments for Meat Industry – “Pigs are having many more piglets — up to 14, instead of the usual eight — but hundreds of those newborns, too frail or crowded to move, are being crushed each year when their mothers roll over. Cows, which normally bear one calf at a time, have been retooled to have twins and triplets, which often emerge weakened or deformed, dying in such numbers that even meat producers have been repulsed. Then there are the lambs. In an effort to develop “easy care” sheep that can survive without costly shelters or shepherds, ewes are giving birth, unaided, in open fields where newborns are killed by predators, harsh weather and starvation.”
  • Still Waiting for Davos Woman – “The Alpine retreat is both absurd and worthy — but can’t achieve its goals as long as it is primarily a guy thing.”
  • A fault in our design – “We tend to think that technological progress is making us more resilient, but it might be making us more vulnerable.”
  • In Rain and Snow, It’s Clear That Patriots Are a Good Bet – “Over the past 12 seasons, the New England Patriots have played so well in wet conditions that their margin of victory in those games has exceeded the betting spread — set by a global market that tries to take all known advantages into account — 80 percent of the time, according to an analysis by Covers, a sports betting information website. The analysis suggests that the Patriots have an edge in wet weather that neither the general public nor professional bettors have taken into account. But the analysis sheds no light on what that advantage, or those advantages, might be. The Patriots exceeded the spread 56 percent of the time in their other games during that period, the analysis shows.” Note: You will find links to some other interesting pieces about betting at Punting – the Owl’s notes.
  • Let statisticians cry foul when politicians bend the truth – “… those who are responsible for government statistics should not be working for ministers. Create within each department an independent statistical and analytical unit. … the independent number crunchers would be expected to comment publicly on the interpretation placed on their material by politicians and the media; especially when that crossed the line between half truth and outright lie. The rough and tumble political debate about numbers and data would continue, vigorously and uncensored. But the playing field would be levelled. And for the first time there would be a referee empowered to blow the whistle when there is a foul.”
  • Not Seeing Luck – “I claimed the other day that those of us who are in the global 1% are apt to under-estimate our good fortune. There is, in fact, quite robust evidence from other contexts that we tend to under-rate luck and over-rate skill and causality. … This is probably because of a self-serving bias… However, other research shows that people also see skill where none in fact exists even in other people. … This sort of behaviour has been confirmed in laboratory experiments. … I suspect that this is part of an older-attested phenomenon – that people under-rate randomness and over-rate causality, which is one reason why we draw overconfident inferences from noisy data. … You might see this as an echo of David Hume’s claim, that our ideas about causality result merely from custom and habit and so are fallible. It also, I suspect, helps explain a claim made by Hume’s good friend. If we over-rate causality and under-rate luck, we will exaggerate the extent to which the wealthy deserve their fortune. As a result:

    We frequently see the respectful attentions of the world more strongly directed towards the rich and the great, than towards the wise and the virtuous. We see frequently the vices and follies of the powerful much less despised than the poverty and weakness of the innocent…The great mob of mankind are the admirers and worshippers, and, what may seem more extraordinary, most frequently the disinterested admirers and worshippers, of wealth and greatness. (Adam Smith – Theory of Moral Sentiments, I.III.29)”

Another war waiting to happen in Gaza

January 1st, 2015 Comments off
  • Gaza Is Nowhere – “There is another war waiting to happen in Gaza. The last one changed nothing. Hamas rockets are being test-fired. A Palestinian farmer has been shot dead near the border. Tensions simmer. The draft Security Council resolution at the United Nations, championed by the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, seeking a withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank by 2017, amounts to an elaborate sideshow. The real matter of diplomatic urgency going into 2015, for the Palestinian people and the world, is to end the lockdown of Gaza.”
  • Tony Blair says Labour ‘left-wing’ warning ‘misinterpreted’ – Tony Blair has insisted he is fully behind Ed Miliband despite appearing to suggest Labour risks being too left-wing to win the general election. The former prime minister told the Economist May’s poll could become one “in which a traditional left-wing party competes with a traditional right-wing party, with the traditional result”.Asked if this meant a Tory win, he replied: “Yes, that is what happens.”hangover
  • You’re gonna get soooo wasted tonight, and Google knows it – “Google searches for “hangover cure” spike by an insane amount on New Year’s day.”
  • A year in a word: Novorossiya – “Vladimir Putin’s use of the word led many to fear Russian expansionism, says Courtney Weaver. Novorossiya – noun — the Black Sea territory that was part of the Russian Empire from the late 18th century until the Revolution of 1917. While most of the world considers the territory part of modern-day Ukraine, a group of pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine and the Moscow leadership beg to differ.”
His first notable caper was in 1975, at Bellewstown, an Irish track more noted for its lovely setting than the quality of its racing. Mr Curley’s horse, Yellow Sam, had not finished above eighth in two years; it was carrying 10kg less than some of its rivals. Yellow Sam’s performance, however, was not Mr Curley’s only concern, or even his main one. The real worry was the odds.

His first notable caper was in 1975, at Bellewstown, an Irish track more noted for its lovely setting than the quality of its racing. Mr Curley’s horse, Yellow Sam, had not finished above eighth in two years; it was carrying 10kg less than some of its rivals. Yellow Sam’s performance, however, was not Mr Curley’s only concern, or even his main one. The real worry was the odds.

  • Only fools and horses – The Economist recounts how the perfectly legal heists of a racehorse-trainer and former seminarian made him the bane of the bookies.
  • Debt piled up – A review by Eric Rauchway of THE SHIFTS AND THE SHOCKS – What we’ve learned – and still have to learn – from the financial crisis by Martin Wolf 496pp. Allen Lane. £25. “Over the course of his new book on the current economic unpleasantness, Martin Wolf conveys a sense of increasing frustration. …  Governments, banks and international institutions did “just enough, almost too late” to prevent the worst possible result, which would have been a note-for-note replay of the 1930s including a slide into fascism and world war. But having done no more than avoid world-historic catastrophe, we find ourselves mired in a dim morass of our own making, with no sunlit uplands in sight. No wonder Wolf is exasperated.”
  • Our new pro-science pontiff: Pope Francis on climate change, evolution, and the Big Bang

In cricket two neutral umpires are better than one and certainly better than none

December 26th, 2014 Comments off
  • Not really cricket: Home bias in officiating – “There has been interest among both sports fans and academics in whether pressure from home crowds affects decision making of officials. This column investigates this problem using new data from cricket matches. The authors find that neutral umpires decrease the bias against away teams, making neutral officials very important for a fair contest. “
  • 26-12-2014 thegreatreformer
  • Chronicle of a papacy foretold – The ideological roots of Latin America’s Jesuit pontiff, Pope Francis – “The pope also shows more sign than his predecessors of understanding the human dilemmas posed by abortion and assisted suicide, but still hews to the church’s teaching on the sanctity of life. Even among people who disagree with all those views, Francis commands sympathy. For his part, he has acknowledged the integrity of people, including atheists and Marxists, whose beliefs differ from his own; and the respect is often mutual. His idiosyncratic humanism, forged in a land of political and economic turmoil, seems infectious. This book explains where it comes from.”
  • Religion Without God – “… God-neutral faith is growing rapidly, in many cases with even less role for God than among Unitarians. Atheist services have sprung up around the country, even in the Bible Belt. Many of them are connected to Sunday Assembly, which was founded in Britain by two comedians, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans. They are avowed atheists. Yet they have created a movement that draws thousands of people to events with music, sermons, readings, reflections and (to judge by photos) even the waving of upraised hands.”
  • Video games should be in Olympics, says Warcraft maker – “Millions watch the most popular games, both at stadium-sized events and online.”
  • Race to Deliver Nicotine’s Punch, With Less Risk – “The rush by Philip Morris and other tobacco companies to develop new ways of selling nicotine is occurring as more consumers are trying e-cigarettes, devices that heat a nicotine-containing fluid to create a vapor that users inhale. While only a small percentage of smokers have switched to the devices — experts say early e-cigarettes did not deliver enough nicotine to satisfy a smoker’s cravings — major tobacco companies are deploying their financial resources and knowledge in a bid to dominate a potentially huge market for cigarette alternatives.”
  • Growth slowdowns: Middle-income trap vs. regression to the mean – “Dozens of nations think they are in the ‘middle-income trap’. Lant Pritchett and Larry Summers present new evidence that this trap is actually just growth reverting to its mean. This matters since belief in the ‘trap’ can lead governments to misinterpret current challenges. For lower-middle-income nations the 21st century beckons, but there are still 19th century problems to address. Moreover, sustaining rapid growth requires both parts of creative destruction, but only one is popular with governments and economic elites.”

The growing world of internet gambling

December 4th, 2014 Comments off

Worth a read if you like the occasional bet on-line:

The King Of Online Gambling (Is 34) – A detailed look by Forbes at “the Wild West of online gambling” and the man who controls the biggest share of it.

PokerStars is the giant of online gambling, and all kinds of jurisdictions and politicians want a piece of its free-spending players. What else can Baazov sell them? The global online gambling industry will reach $38.7 billion this year, according to H2 Gambling Capital–with poker making up only about 10% of the total. PokerStars recently launched casino games in Spain and within weeks grabbed double-digit market share. Full Tilt has now launched casino games in much of the world, and 30% of its eligible poker players have already given those games a try. Sports betting is next, and Baazov expects it to launch in certain markets by March 2015. His securities filings suggest he wants to eventually offer social gaming, while fantasy sports seems like a natural extension.

Baazov just needs to make sure he doesn’t alienate his core customers. Some online players are already grumbling about recent changes at PokerStars, like higher rake fees of as much as 5% that PokerStars gets for hosting games and currency exchange fees of 2.5%. But Baazov is moving forward, cooking up his next deal. He has put Cadillac Jack up for sale and should make a good profit on the asset given the price other slot machine makers have fetched recently. He also just unloaded Amaya’s Ongame unit.

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When free market principle and self interest collide – which will the Murdoch team back?

November 18th, 2014 Comments off

“We’re for Sydney” the page one banner declares. To which, if today’s Daily Telegraph is any guide, we could add “But self interest comes first.”

Hence the Tele’s big issue of the day. Newsagents might lose their monopoly right to sell lottery tickets, it told us on page one.



And what a terrible thing that would be for these brave and battling small business people.

NEWSAGENTS in NSW have warned they face annihilation if lottery ticket sales are opened up to big players such as Coles and Woolworths.

As a condition of privatising NSW Lotteries in 2010, the then Labor government agreed to a five-year moratorium with new owners Tatts that prevented supermarkets and other big retailers from selling lotto tickets and scratchies. But the arrangement is due to end on March 31 — the week after the state election. …

Lottery sales provide between 25 and 90 per cent of newsagent income and the Newsagents Association of NSW and ACT (NANA) said allowing big retailers into the market would devastate hundreds of retailers.

To make matters worse, Tatts wants outlets to shell out up to $25,000 on mandatory shop refits and fresh branding once the moratorium ends.

They will also demand payments from lottery agents twice a week, rather than the existing weekly arrangement, which NANA says will put fragile cashflows at risk.



Not a mention there of what the closure of newsagents might mean to newspaper sales. But plenty of room on the opinion page for the newsagents’ lobbyist to make his special pleading for “all sides of politics to enshrine in legislation the current network of small businesses.”



And so to the editorial verdict from this stout media defender of competition and the merits of more and more deregulation. It started off being true to these fine principles: “The sought-after outcome in any deregulated economic sphere is an increased number of participants.” But by the end? Well, what do you know.

… some 1500 newsagents now face the possibility of losing lotto sales revenue to the two largest supermarket operators. That loss would be considerable. Such sales provide between 25 and 90 per cent of newsagents’ income. You can see why a dramatic decrease could very likely see them be forced to close.

There is a reasonable argument for the maintenance of current limitation of lottery products to newsagents.


And still not even a mention of the impact of all this on newspaper proprietors.


Categories: Australian media, Betting, Media Tags:

Always gamble on an empty stomach and other news and views for Monday 3 November

November 3rd, 2014 Comments off
  • Always Gamble on an Empty Stomach: Hunger Is Associated with Advantageous Decision Making – “Three experimental studies examined the counterintuitive hypothesis that hunger improves strategic decision making, arguing that people in a hot state are better able to make favorable decisions involving uncertain outcomes. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that participants with more hunger or greater appetite made more advantageous choices in the Iowa Gambling Task compared to sated participants or participants with a smaller appetite. Study 3 revealed that hungry participants were better able to appreciate future big rewards in a delay discounting task; and that, in spite of their perception of increased rewarding value of both food and monetary objects, hungry participants were not more inclined to take risks to get the object of their desire. Together, these studies for the first time provide evidence that hot states improve decision making under uncertain conditions, challenging the conventional conception of the detrimental role of impulsivity in decision making.”
  • New battery aims to transform electric cars – “A new battery that promises to solve two of the biggest grumbles about electric cars – high prices and low driving ranges – is headed for shop floors in just over a year. The lithium battery, which experts say could be a game-changing “killer app” for the global car market, can triple the driving range of an electric vehicle and significantly lower its costs, say the US scientists who developed it.”
  • Brands of nonsense – John Quiggin writes: “Key branding efforts focus on intangibles. In this respect, university branding has been an embarrassing failure both by the industrial standards of the advertising sector and by the intellectual standards that universities are supposed to uphold. For example, virtually every Australian university has adopted (replacing the Latinate motto that used to adorn its crest) a branding slogan: “Know more. Do more.” “Where brilliant begins”. Good luck trying to match a particular slogan with its respective university. (Disclosure: I am, perhaps, bitter that my own proposed branding slogan—”UQ, a university not a brand”—did not find favor with my institution’s marketing department.) … The idea of universities as corporate owners of brands is directly at odds with what John Henry Newman called “the Idea of a University.” To be sure, that idea is the subject of contestation and debate, but in all its forms it embodies the ideal of advancing knowledge through free discussion rather than burnishing the image of a corporation. In the end, brands and universities belong to different worlds.”
  • Amid Record Waves of Refugees, Italy Finding Limits to Its Compassion – “Tattered migrants arriving from Africa bring harrowing tales of escape, and new challenges for Europe.”


Categories: Betting, News and views for the day Tags:

Going for the Democrat outsider in the US Senate race

November 2nd, 2014 Comments off

I am normally a favourite backer when it comes to elections. My experience suggests that the market on elections tends not to get the favoured party in short enough quickly enough.

So what am I doing on the US Congressional elections? Breaking my habits of a life time and going for the outsider in the Senate race.

The reason for my modest risk taking on the Democrats surviving as the majority party in the Senate comes from a couple of recent articles by Sam Wang on The Princeton Election Consortium website.

Midterm National Senate Polling Error Is Five Times Larger Than In Presidential Years and Races I’ll be Watching on Election Night  outline what Wang calls “the mid-term polling curse” whereby historically, in any given year, midterm polls have been off in the same direction by a median of 2 or 3 percentage points.

Depending on the year, either Democrats or Republicans end up outperforming polls. In current poll medians, six races are within less than 2 percentage points: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, and North Carolina. Therefore all six of these races could be won by Republicans…or all six could be won by Democrats.
The other races total 48 Republicans and 46 Democrats/Independents. Republicans are slightly favored to take control, since an even split of the six close races would give them the 51 seats they need. However, the likely possibilities range anywhere from a Republican majority of 54-46 to a Democratic majority of 52-48. As of today, cranking through the math and the uncertainties gives a probability of 55% for a Republican takeover.

That seems a good enough reason to me to recommend an interest on the event.

Some of the British bookies are offering $8.50 about the Democrats (plus independents who decide to caucus with them) being in the majority and that would suit me just fine. In Australia Betfair offers the three options of Democrat, Republican and neither (where caucusing independents are not counted with one of the major parties). So, $20 at the $8.50 to make election watching more fun.

Details of my political punting recommendations at The political speculator’s diary

Categories: Betting, Elections, US Election Tags:

Labor price gets shorter about winning in Victoria

November 2nd, 2014 Comments off

So far so good with the “back Victorian Labor” recommendation on my The political speculator’s diary website. The $1.40 has gone with $1.28 now being the VicTab offering.
With further opinion polls over the last week showing Labor comfortably in front I do not expect that price to remain for long.
Details of present and past betting suggestions at The Portfolio – the record so far.

Categories: Betting, Elections, Victorian election Tags:

Politicians the number one cause of stress in people’s lives and other news and views for Friday 11 July

July 11th, 2014 Comments off


11-07-2014 stress

  • Politicians are the No. 1 cause of daily stress in our lives – “Americans cited “hearing about what the government or politicians are doing” as the most frequent daily stressor on their lives, and at a substantially higher rate than the usual annoyances like commuting, chores and general schedule-juggling.”
  • 11-07-2014 backgermany
  • Singapore Anti-Gambling Council Loses Big On World Cup Ad – “The 30-second public service announcement features a group of boys talking about the World Cup. They each support a different team. Then the mood quickly turns as one boy says he hopes Germany wins because, ‘My dad bet all my savings on them.’As we know now, Germany trounced Brazil in an unprecedented 7-1 victory and is headed to the final against Argentina on Sunday. So the point of the public service announcement, as laudatory as it might be, doesn’t exactly come across.
  • Who Wants a Depression? – “It turns out …  that using monetary policy to fight depression, while in the interest of the vast majority of Americans, isn’t in the interest of a small, wealthy minority. And, as a result, monetary policy is as bound up in class and ideological conflict as tax policy.”
  • Mental illness is our most pressing health problem – “Given the considerable economic costs to society, treatment would pay for itself.”
  • A cheerful Pope Francis reveals readiness to reform Vatican – “… the Pope is putting his skullcapped prelates on alert that their encrusted habits fall short of modern requirements. Whether they like it or not, root-and-branch reforms are coming to the Vatican bureaucracy.
  • Top incomes and the glass ceiling – “The glass ceiling is typically examined in terms of the distribution of earnings. This column discusses the glass ceiling in the gender distribution of total incomes, including self-employment and capital income. Evidence from Canada and the UK shows we are still far from equality. Though the proportion of women in the top 1% has been rising, the progress is slower, almost non-existent, at the very top of the distribution.”
  • Gender diversity in management in Japan is finally emerging: Comparison with China and South Korea – “Japan has one of the highest labour market gender gaps among the advanced economies. This column examines the current status of gender diversity in management in Japan, China, and South Korea. Despite some pronounced differences, economic gender gaps are large in all of the three countries. But overall, gender diversity in management in Japan is slowly beginning to emerge.”
Categories: Betting, News and views for the day Tags:

Tempted by UKIP at Newark and lured by a NO vote in Scotland

June 3rd, 2014 Comments off


Remarkably few opinion polls to give the punters a guide in this week’s Newark by-election where the Conservatives are a firm favourite to retain the seat. That rich political maverick, and former Tory party Treasurer, Lord Ashcroft did provide this guide at the weekend along with his regular nationwide survey.

With the Conservatives leading UKIP by 15 percentage points and with Labour and Liberal Democrats in the also-ran category it is no surprise that the market based Owl Election Indicator has the Conservatives strongly favoured. For my part I’m not prepared to take the short price because of as nagging suspicion that potential UKIP voters are understated in the same way as that Pauline Hansen lot once were in Australia. Haven’t got the courage to put my money where my mouth is either.

When it comes to the Scottish referendum, where the campaign is now officially underway, my leaning towards the NO vote just keeps getting stronger. The only referendum form I know is from Australia where the record shows that when any major party opposes a proposition a majority do not vote in favour.
I notice as much as $1.30 available on the NO vote. Will do me for 120 units to win a potential 40.
Categories: Betting Tags:

A modest improvement in UKIP’s chances in the European parliamentary election

May 23rd, 2014 Comments off

The strong showing by UKIP in the UK’s local government elections has resulted in the markets making a five percentage point improvement in the assessed probability of that party gaining most votes in the elections of members to the European Parliament. Those votes for MEPs were caste on the same day as those for local governments but will not be counted until Sunday when elections in all European countries are concluded.

At this point of proceedings I am happy with my recommendations:
  • $460 on Labour at $2.20 to win most votes in the UK at the European parliamentary election
  • $450 on UKIP at $2.25 to win most votes in the UK at the European parliamentary election.

UKIP and Labour are both winners.

Full details of my political betting are at my political speculator’s diary blog.

Categories: Betting, Political indicators Tags:

Now the pundits are betting on Abbott being replaced

May 21st, 2014 Comments off
From the Twitter feed this morning:

But Scotty Morrison to replace Tony Abbott? Now that would get Twitter twittering.

Categories: Betting, Political snippets Tags:

Sticking with UKIP

May 18th, 2014 Comments off

A couple of new polls this morning with predictions on what will happen on Thursday when they vote in the UK to elect members to the European Parliament.

The  ComRes poll in the Independent on Sunday had UKIP clearly doing best and gave an explanation as to why its UKIP figure was higher than that of some other pollsters.

One of those other was a YouGov/Sun poll that had topline figures of CON 22%, LAB 28%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 25%, GRN 10%. Labour are just ahead of UKIP in first place but the Polling Report website commented:

A lot of this apparent difference is down to how they approach turnout – YouGov’s topline figures are based on all respondents, if they took only those certain to vote UKIP would be ahead. ComRes’s figures include only those 10/10 certain to vote, if they included those who say they are 5/10 or more likely to vote UKIP’s lead over Labour would be a far more modest 2 points.

The betting markets are pointing towards UKIP polling the most votes with the politicalowl’s indicator assessing the chances this way:

You will find my investments on the event at my political speculator’s site:

A reminder that shorty priced election favourites can get beaten

March 19th, 2014 Comments off

Just a reminder that favourites can get beaten.

I did not produce an Owl’s election indicator on the South Australian election because the only markets available were the very fragile ones of the corporate bookmakers. Just how fragile was shown on Saturday morning when they stopped betting after Newspoll in The Australian came out suggesting, accurately as it turned out, that it was going to be a close run thing.

The night before, when I checked, the major firms had the Liberals around $1.02 with Labor at $15. Take out the bookmaker’s margin and the assessment was round about a 94% chance of a Liberal win with Labor on 6%.

The result is still uncertain but anyone who took the $1.02 would be feeling a little uncomfortable at the moment. And the Kouk’s red rover should be sweating a little as well.



Bookmakers as ticket clippers

March 9th, 2014 Comments off

With the British corporate bookmakers now dominating the trade in Australia would-be customers should note this story from Britain’s Observer showing that it is not just bankers who can clip a client’s deposit account:



Categories: Betting, Ticket clippers Tags:

Macau and money laundering a coming challenge for Packer’s Crown

January 3rd, 2014 Comments off

Back in November China’s president Xi Jinping announced that his government is pushing forward with reforms that will see it gradually liberalize interest rates and open its capital account. That might seem a somewhat mundane piece of economic news but for Macau’s casino operators it is a potential problem. For, as Quatz reports this morning, Chinese citizens aren’t allowed to move more than $50,000 a year out of the country.

One of the only ways of circumventing these controls is through Macau’s shady triangle of VIP baccarat rooms, “junkets” and underground banks. ”No funds actually cross the border, so this method is difficult to detect and impossible to measure,” Stephen Green of Standard Chartered told the Wall Street Journal (paywall) in 2012.

Back in October 2012 Quartz explained how it works:

1) Sign up with travel companies known as “junket operators.” These high end tour agents make a living transporting Chinese gamblers to Macau and arranging their accommodation and, crucially, their casino credit.

2) Borrow money from the junket operator to fund the gambling.

3) Head to casino and pick up gambling chips from the junket [usually in VIP baccarat rooms run by the junkets].
4) The chips the junkets provide are called “dead” chips because they can’t be traded for cash and have to be played. But when a player wins a bet, he is paid in cashable chips, which he can exchange for Hong Kong or US dollars inside the casino.

It is this lurk that threatens to close. If and when China loosens capital controls there will be possible to  move capital across the country’s borders more freely. There will be less need to run money through Macau’s VIP rooms. VIP rooms accounted for more than 70% of Macau’s revenues, reported The Economist in 2011.

The potential impact on Australia’s Crown casino group is shown in the review presented at its October annual general meeting:

3-01-2014 crownmelco

3-01-2014 crownmacau

Quartz speculates that despite their lip service to the idea, Chinese leaders could well continue to sit on reforms. In the meantime, though, it argues that this chart offers another cause for concern:


3-01-2014 macaufiguresIt concluded:

Many China-watchers suspect that much of China’s trillion-dollar stimulus starting in 2009 found its way to Macau, via the accounts of state enterprise bosses. Tellingly, gaming revenue growth plummeted in 2012, when the government began tightening, picking up only after the government re-opened the spigots in 2013. Shadow banks that facilitate tens of millions a day in foreign-currency exchange via Macau also support local governments and small businesses with credit, as Reuters reported in Jul. 2013. Tighter lending conditions in 2012 aimed at reining in local government debt left them with less money to lend to Macau.

The correlation isn’t definite. But if it’s there, it means that the Chinese government’s push to impose discipline on leveraged businesses and local governments could make double-digit growth in Macau casino revenue a thing of the past.


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A story about match fixing that is actually worth reading

December 2nd, 2013 Comments off

Sport is made for betting: What shits me about match-fixing ‘journalism’..

The anti-wagering media bandwagon has dozens of new members this week, all weighing in an industry they have absolutely no idea about. I’m all for getting the betting industry into the mainstream but it shits me no end when they roll out reports and celebrities who simply don’t have a clue what they are talking about and don’t bother to check basic facts which key arguments in their story. If this was the financial industry, making errors like this would have them in all sorts of trouble, but the same level of regulation doesn’t apply because finance stock markets are supposedly all legitimate and serious, whereas sports betting is just a bit of fun for people who can never win in the long-term… according to the media. 

This week we have seen the sting by the Telegraph which, on the face of it, looks to be a tremendous piece of investigative work into fixing in English football. But the headlines around it are over-sensationalised yet again. Delroy Facey, a former player turned agent could never be described as a Premier League star, or for any of his clubs for that matter – he played 10 games for Bolton, scoring a single goal. He played professional football for 14 different clubs! He might have managed a few games at the highest level but that’s equivalent to calling me a star of Sky Sports News – I’ve been on twice for short interviews. 

… Will it ever end? Match-fixing will never be eradicated so why would the errors in reporting it ever be cleared up? The media only keep cutting costs meaning the only main thing they check for is whether they stand to be sued or not, and the general public show complete disdain for the truth by buying Murdoch-owned tabloids around the world… 


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