SBC Bookies’ Corner – The World in 2018

SBC’s final Bookies’ Corner of 2017 looks at the year ahead, and what bookmakers believe will dominate the public’s agenda and interest.

As we finish year 1 of Brexit negotiations and the Trump Administration, will 2018 deliver another rollercoaster ride for punters and bookmaker markets…SBC gets the bookies lowdown on 2018?


Matt Shaddick – Ladbrokes

SBC: Will the UK continue to be a political circus act in 2018, with another SNAP Election called?

Matt Shaddick (Head of Politics – Ladbrokes): There has been some support for a 2018 General Election call, as doubts began to emerge about whether a DUP-approved Brexit resolution was possible. All the same, it would be extremely surprising if enough Tory and DUP MPs were willing to risk an early election in the current climate. It would only take a very small swing to Labour for us to end up with a coalition government led by Jeremy Corbyn. So, I’m pretty sceptical of the chances of another general election in 2018, although we’d certainly welcome another multi-million-pound betting event.

Joe Lee – Paddy Power

SBC: Will 2018 mark the end of  President Donald Trump? What factor will end the Trump Presidency; Russia, poor mid-term performances, a fractured Republican Party or diminishing public opinion?

Joe Lee (Head of Trump Betting @ Paddy Power): With everything that’s going on in the last few days we won’t be Russian to Trump US Politics with anything else in 2018!

The Don is the gift that keeps on giving, be it the festive season or not, and our political strategy will continue to be leveraging his amazing profile for as long as he survives. Our client base is still massively engaged by his every move/tweet, and continue to flood us with entertaining and varied market requests. I must admit now that he’s gone odds on for Impeachment once again, I’m getting a little uncomfortable about my own long term job prospects!

Obviously, if he manages to last until November 2018, the US mid-terms will be the true barometer of the Donald Trump approval rating. These could be the most eagerly awaited mid-terms in history, so we’ll have plenty of betting opportunities once the time comes.

Katie Baylis – Betfair

SBC: From a politics/entertainment perspective what do you feel will be the most intriguing market of 2018?

Katie Baylis (Media Relations Lead @ Betfair):  We’re sure to have a Royal time with the other big entertainment events of 2018 – a new Royal Baby, possibly even two if Harry and Meghan get their act together J (13/2 it’s confirmed she’s pregnant before the wedding day!) We already have a plethora of markets for the Wedding and the new baby but plenty to come.

The other old entertainment reliables will also be about – I’m sure somebody will push somebody down the stairs, or run them over in a cornerstone soap opera. We’re ready for the next big whodunit.

Eurovision and X Factor will add the musical side of things – with Eurovision going global now, the reach and level of interest continues to expand. The organisation must be singing all the way to the bank!

Pascal Lemesre, Smarkets

SBC: Will Britain be ready to exit the EU by the end of 2018. What are the consequences of Brexit talks failing – a new leader for the UK, an election call, or Brexit being postponed?

Pascal Lemesre (Press Officer – Smarkets): It looks like progress is, at last, being made with regards to Brexit negotiations, as the UK enters stage 2 of trade talks in 2018. However, as we have witnessed events can change quickly, so confidence is hard to judge. At political prices from our markets’ suggest it’s just a 58% chance the UK will leave the EU by March 29, 2019, the two-year target set after Article 50 was initially triggered.

Despite the Tory Party stating that Theresa May will continue lead , but she’s odds-on to leave her position in 2018 at 52%, with another general election next year currently priced at 28%.

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