Are we being misled by the US betting clampdown?

Are we being misled by the US betting clampdown?

giuliani polls.jpg

    Is 4/1 Giuliani now the hot Republican bet?

One factor in the UK betting on the 2008 White House race that should be taken into account is that thanks to the tough approach by the US authorities to on-line gambling there is far less money from America being wagered here compared with the 2004 election.

With the executives of UK-based bookmakers at risk of arrest while travelling in the US there has been a massive clampdown by the firms to ensure that US punters are not gambling online on their sites. The result is that betting markets on the race here are much slower to react to developments and the money going on is “less informed”.

    So following the betting on UK markets might not be the best strategy for 2008 – and this could create some “betting bargains” such as the prices currently available on Rudy Giuliani.

For how else can you explain the huge difference in the view of the race coming from the pollsters and the 4/1 traditional bookmaker price and the 3.6/1 at Betfair that are currently available on the ex-Mayor of New York.

For from the latest surveys it’s beginning to look as though the bid by the favourite, the 70 year old John McCain, is running into trouble and it might be difficult for him to recover. His age, surely, is a factor however well regarded he is.

The polls show that Hillary is consolidating her position in the Democratic race but I will not be convinced that she has a chance until the Iowa caucuses in January next year. This is a crucial first test in any US race because party supporters go to local meetings to discuss the rival contenders before they make their decision.

Iowa was where the apparently unstoppable campaign of Howard Dean was haltered in 2004 and it could happen to Clinton or Obama or both.

Sean Fears slot. Sean is unavailable this week and will not be writing his usual Friday column.

Mike Smithson

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