MUMBAI: Predicting a BJP win in Uttar Pradesh may just suffice for the losses book makers made in December last year following Donald Trump’s victory.
The bookies were giving the lowest odds against BJP winning at least 180 seats in UP and highest odds for SP-Congress forming a majority. Industry experts say that anywhere close to about Rs 5,000 crore may be riding on the results of UP elections. Bookies getting it right would mean that they are expected to fetch better returns.
BJP winning 180 seats in the 403 seat UP assembly are now pegged at 1:1. Simply put, those betting Re 1 on BJP winning 180 seats will earn double the amount they bet. On the other hand, it is believed that the incumbent Samajwadi Party (SP) may not be able to cross 150 seats. Odds of SP winning 150 seats are pegged at 2.5:1 and for 160 seats they are 4:1. Higher the odds, lesser are the expectations of the player winning that many seats.
This would come as a major relief for the bookies who had booked major losses in December when Trump’s victory upset their returns. Trump defeating Clinton to become the 45th president of the US and Narendra Modi banning Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes may be completely unrelated developments at opposite ends of the earth but not if you’re a bookie in India.
Many bookies who accepted bets on the US elections were facing existential issue. Not only have they suffered massive losses as they had favoured Clinton to win, they now have to return money to people who bet on the other guy but the notes they hold aren’t legal tender. Many bookies, especially the smaller ones, have already gone out of business as they were unable to return the money.