UK’s Most Specific Relationship Between Politics and Gambling

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Those who cannot live without a game of chance know the great influence of politics on the gambling industry. Certainly, such influence is most noticeable in the UK, where a lot of gambling activities are legalised and held under administrative supervision.

Despite the fact that political betting is not so great a market for British bookmakers when compared to sports, the recent events have managed to stir up interest in this particular betting island. The point, of course, is the latest US election that, according to Ladbrokes, gathered a number of bets larger than any single sporting event save only the Grand National.

So, what is the aftermath of such massive disturbance – as far as gamblers and bettors are concerned?

First, we need to understand how much profit there is in it for the government.

Considering gambling a profitable activity that is subject to licensing, the government needs to make farsighted decisions to authorise certain types of open gambling markets, freeze or delay their opening or development.

The combined loss of main UK betting companies that was the outcome of the aforementioned election approached £6 million. Except for one group that is said to come away with profits, the other participated in this huge political betting market only to end up at a loss.

According to data provided by bookmakers and estimates supplied by the Gambling Commission, gambling duty that is accounted for in the UK consists of three main activities, namely Lottery, Gaming and Betting. Machine Games Duty (previously known as Amusement Machine Licence Duty) is included in the gaming regime along with Lottery Duty, Bingo Duty, Pool Betting Duty, Gaming Duty and General Betting Duty.

In 2016, during the period from April to September the declared gross profit from betting and gaming was estimated to be £1,352,425 thousand. The growth of interest towards betting on slot machines can also be monitored via the regular appearance of new online slots UK. Comparing to the same period in 2015/16 this amount is £35,882 thousand (2.7%) higher – if not advancing with seven league strides the overall profits grow pretty impressively.

Betting on Politics: Further Trends

It looks like £6 million is a loss small enough not to make people look forward to more carefully weighed decisions and more precise estimations.

The betting patterns of UK citizens’ vote to leave the EU is said to be strikingly similar to the patterns for this US presidential election.

Whereas two-thirds of the total bets placed during the Brexit were for Leave around two-thirds of the total money bet was for Remain. By the same token, there were lots of small bets placed on Mr Trump – notwithstanding their being smaller, approximately 70 percent of the individual bets went in favour to him rather than Mrs Clinton. That is how it all happened: all the bets amounted to £5 million but caused a six-figure loss.

Finally, bets on the 2020 election are already being placed. Bookmakers say that Mr Trump is the current favourite at 5/4, whereas the flurry of bets suddenly resulted in the cut of Michelle Obama’s odds from 66/1 to 14/1.​​​​​​​