Brexit Opens Up Some Intriguing Betting Markets

Martin Green

Sunday, November 4, 2018 2:05 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 2:05 PM UTC

The word Brexit is likely to provoke a passionate outburst among anyone in Europe right now as the UK prepares to extricate itself from the EU. Some Brits are passionately in favor of it, while others – particularly the younger generation – are outraged at the very notion.

On the continent some Europeans feel betrayed by Britain’s decision to leave the union, and others are demanding they get on with it. Chaos, uncertainty and confusion are the prevailing themes as Europe hurtles into unchartered territory, but one thing is likely: Britain is expected to encounter economic pain, in the short term at least.

The sportsbooks have already made a killing on the Brexit vote. Most commentators thought it would never and the majority of bets went on Remain when the bookmakers ran lines on the vote, but Leave seized the day and many betting sites made a healthy profit. Now they are bidding to keep the money coming in by offering lines on whether the value of the British pound will fall below that of the euro by March 31, 2019, the date Britain is supposed to leave the EU. Right now the rate is £1 to €1.14, so it would require a relatively sharp turnaround. But the exchange rate stood at £1 to €1.31 before the Brexit vote in June 2016, so the pound has been steadily losing ground in recent years and some experts believe the general turmoil surrounding the intricacies of leaving the union will cause it to plummet further.

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At least 60 British business leaders are calling for a public Brexit vote amid concerns that the UK will exit the European Union without an agreement next spring https://t.co/Y67NsrrmVi pic.twitter.com/7sImQf1rQT

— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) November 4, 2018
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If you think the pound will fall below the value of the euro, you can take odds of +200 at 888 Sport, the sportsbook that is now offering sports betting in the likes of New Jersey alongside its core European heartland. Brexit may be the one thing that has kept Theresa May clinging to power in Britain, where her popularity rates are low and she commands little respect within her own party. It was deemed to risky to oust her given the current political climate, but she is expected to walk the plank in the not too distant future. Unibet is offering -118 for her to leave in 2019, while you can find +250 on 2020 or later.

A ferocious leadership battle is then expected to ensue. Bet365 has +500 on home secretary Sajid Javid becoming the next Conservative Party Leader, making him the narrow frontrunner. But hot on his heels is Boris Johnson at +700. The former foreign secretary divides opinion almost as starkly as Brexit, but he has a lot of supporters, and he looks to be a popular choice in this market, while Jacob Rees-Mogg looks like an interesting long shot at +1800. Yet Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, is actually the +400 favorite with William Hill to be named the next prime minister. Corbyn is likened to Bernie Sanders for his leftist stance and he enjoys great popularity among younger voters and those in cities.

The chaos surrounding Brexit could end up leading to an early general election, and that would send political betting through the roof. There have been a number of huge upsets in recent years: the Conservatives defying all polls to win the 2015 election, Brexit, Donald Trump seizing the US election. It has paid to back the underdog in political betting, and more of the same could help make bettors handsome profits going forward.

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