Why I’m giving up betting on politics

Why I’m giving up betting on politics

    My dilemma over being a punter and writing about it

mike RH.jpgOn most days on the site I like to produce a, hopefully, provocative article that’s linked to a political outcome on which people can bet. The problem is that what’s written here can sometimes affect the betting prices themselves and this can lead to suggestions that I’m putting forward ideas in order to line my own pocket.

Until now I have always tried to set out what I am betting on so that people can make their own minds up about why I am suggesting a particular course.

I have now come to a view that this is not enough – that the only way I can maintain the integrity of the site is for me not to have a financial interest in any political outcome.

I think that PBC will lose something by me taking this course because my opinions will not be backed up by me risking my own cash. However, like newspapers with their city correspondents, I think it’s better to make a clean break.

In the two and a half years since Politicalbetting started I have never sought to ramp any position that I have held by making a recommendation that might move a price. It is very difficult, however, to avoid the accusation.

This is quite a good time to make this move because there are no really active betting markets at the moment. Things will explode, however, when we get Tony’s big announcement. My current bets will remain until the outcomes are known.

Labour leadership. For the record I have a fair bit on Alan Johnson with smaller amounts on John Reid, David Miliband, John Hutton and Hilary Benn.

Blair’s Leaving Date. I make money if Tony goes this year or after the end of 2007. I lose if the departure is in 2007. I’ve also got a bet on at 9/1 that Tony will last longer than Margaret Thatcher.

Blair being arrested. I’ve got a smallish amount on at 6/1 that Blair will be arrested this year in the honours for cash inquiry.

General Election.
I’ve a spread bet on the Tories winning most seats which I will seek to close.

US Presidential Race. I’ve a fair bit on Mark Warner at 40/1

Mike Smithson

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