Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bettors skip races, politics

According to Bloomberg News, this year's French election has attracted $339,000 worth of wagers so far at the two largest British bookmakers, "more than five times the level in the previous election in 2002."

Mr. Sarkozy, picking up an endorsement from Britain's Economist magazine, is gaining momentum heading into the April 22 first round. William Hill's odds on him narrowed in the past week from 1–2. Odds on Ms. Royal lengthened from 11–4.

At the same time, odds on centrist Francois Bayrou have narrowed to 9–2 from 11–2. Anti-immigrant leader Jean-Marie Le Pen remains the long shot at 50–1, down from 80–1.

And the largest bets? A $6000 wager at William Hill for Sarkozy, and a separate $12,000 bet for Sarkozy at Ladbrokes from "a London-based businessman with a French-sounding name." Let's hope Sarkozy didn't make any any wagers when he was visiting Blair several months ago.

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