Monday January 14, 2013 : BETTING ON POLITICS
Paddy Power introduces a political market based on Prime Minister's Questions
The House of Commons frequently becomes noisy and confrontational as members of parliament react vociferously to statements made by the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and other members. Check it out Here.
Cheers, shouting, hisses and boos are commonplace, often drowning out the politician holding the floor at any particular time and requiring the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, to restore order among the verbally feuding politicians.
This is especially noticeable at the regular Prime Minister's Questions sessions, and online and land gambling group Paddy Power has seized the opportunity to turn it into a betting market, offering punters the chance to bet on how many times the Speaker will have to intervene at PMQs and titling it “Bercow Betting.”.
"One of the great problems with political betting is that there is no regular event which you can have a punt on," a Paddy Power spokesman said this week. "Almost all the markets are on things that can be months or years ahead.
"In the past a number of bookies have tred to create weekly markets but none has caught on or has involved a lot of work on the part of the bookie. A couple of years ago Ladbrokes introduced a sort of PMQs buzz words where you bet on what the Opposition Leader’s first question would about, but the amount of effort required by the firm in setting it up was disproportionate and it only lasted a few weeks."
PaddyPower has tackled the problem from a different and simplified angle, introducing a weekly John Bercow bet on how many times at PMQs he’ll have to intervene and call "Order!"
There are only two prices – whether the number will be above a certain level or below; initially it’s 5/6 either side of 2.5 interventions.
Punters will probably base their bets according to the level of passion on either side of the House an issue generates, leading to more emotional outbursts and the higher noise levels that make calm debate impossible and an intervention inevitable.