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Have you been on the weekend IndyRef betting roller coaster?

April 13th, 2014

Making money betting on the betting

It’s been an extraordinary, and for some profitable, weekend on the Betfair IndyRef markets which have seen huge fluctuations in the YES price.

What’s good from a punting point of view is that is is one of the few political betting markets which are now liquid with a fair bit of activity.

A month ago I put a few hundred pounds on YES – not because I believed necessarily that this was going to be the outcome in September’s referendum but that I thought that the then price of 5.4 (an 18% chance) was too long with lots of potential to move in.

This did edge up quite nicely but has taken off in the past 36 hours ago most likely in response to the Alex Salmon’s well trailed by speech in which he sought to broaden the appeal of YES well beyond his SNP supporter base.

At one stage early yesterday morning there was a trade on Betfair that represented a 41% chance. That didn’t last long because it encouraged those with existing YES positions to move back into the market to take some profits.

I pithched a couple of offers without takers around the 36% level. Then I moved this to 3.3 (a 33% chance) which found backers.

    Because of the way exchange betting works I’ve now been able to extract all the cash from my original stakes and am in the comfortable position of being a winner whatever happens in the actual vote.

My guess is that there’ll be more opportunities like this and I plan to put more on YES, or laying NO, when the prices ease.

This market is ultra sensitive to the polling.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble