BetFair: Which of these parties will have more seats in the US Senate following the 2006 US Senate Elections?

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Republicans: 49%

Democrats: 53.8%

Ex-BBC News Mike Smithson (of the Political Betting blog) wonders whether BetFair will count the two Independent U.S. Senators (Liberman and Sanders) in the Democratic camp.

Lieberman won re-election as the “Connecticut For Lieberman” party candidate – an independent political party he created after losing the 2006 Democratic primary election to Ned Lamont. He has said he will sit as part of the Democratic Senate caucus in the upcoming 110th Congress.

Sanders won yesterday in Vermont as an independent but will caucus with the Democrats and it is said will be counted as a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments.

The problem that Betfair will have to resolve is that neither ran as a Democrat although they will be attached to the Democrats in the Upper House.

To add to the complication Nick Palmer, MP, posted this on the previous thread at 1.34pm – “I have it in writing from Betfair that they will count the two independents as Democrats. (I asked them a month or two ago before I put a tenner on.) If you have opposite advice in writing, they should be embarrassed!”.

Addendum: From one commenter&#8230-

The question was “Which of these parties will have more seats in the US Senate following the 2006 US Senate Elections?”

The options were Republicans and Democrats. The result is 49-49 with two independents.

It’s a draw- I can’t see how anyone can see otherwise.

Addendum 2: From Yahoo! News (whose data are provided by the Associated Press)&#8230-

Liberman (CT) and Sanders (VT) are counted as Democrats.

Addendum 3: From the Washington Post frontpage&#8230-

Editor&#8217-s Note: Independent members of Congress typically caucus with the Democrats.

Addendum 4: From the New York Times&#8230-

Full Senate Results &#8212- Republican: 49 &#8212- Democratic: 50 – Includes independents who align with the Democratic caucus. &#8212- [CFM’s NOTE: Virginia is still in play at the time of writing.]

Addendum 5: Mike Smithson&#8230-

So punters who are tempted into this market are risking money on how they think Betfair will settle the market.

Prediction markets vs. Experts (a.k.a. pundits)

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Via betting expert Niall O&#8217-Connor, this Slate piece:

But in the run-up to this year&#8217-s midterms, Intrade futures prices are everywhere. RealClearPolitics offers &#8220-Live Intrade Quotes&#8221- alongside its polling summaries. HuffingtonPost now posts them on the front page in a snazzy, multicolored bar graph. The HuffPo graphics won&#8217-t help with Tradesports/Intrade&#8217-s defense. The headline shouts &#8220-Midterm Betting Odds,&#8221- and the caption adds, &#8220-Odds based on people betting real money on the Tradesports website.&#8221- Is betting real money on the midterms a form of online gambling?

My Answer: No. TradeSports-InTrade is a prediction exchange, which can give more objective outcome probabilities than bookmakers or sportsbooks, and the Huffington Post does a diservice to the public in presenting that as &#8220-betting odds&#8221-.

Never mind the current Congress – the real value of political futures markets like Intrade is their potential to put someone else out of business: pundits. Intrade&#8217-s predictions are erratic, unreliable, and meaningless – in other words, a perfect market in the conventional wisdom. Most Washington talking heads are just day traders in political gossip. Thanks to Intrade, you no longer have to listen to all the pontificators, because the market does it for you. In politics, it&#8217-s often hard to tell the difference between the conventional wisdom and &#8220-the wisdom of crowds.&#8221- One man&#8217-s CW is another man&#8217-s WC. As further proof that the market works, this wisdom is now available for free – which is exactly what it&#8217-s worth.

My Take: I agree with what I put in bold, but not with what&#8217-s in between and after.

Internet gambling ban has passed.

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The US Congress has approved the internet gambling ban bill. (Reuters, Wash Post). [Thanks to NY-based trader Steve Roman for the link.]

TEN CEO John Delaney has been feeding the gullible media with the concept that, because TradeSports / InTrade is a prediction exchange (not a bookmaker, or a casino), he keeps sleeping like a log, at nights, regarding the recent prosecutions against internet gambling firms&#8217- executives.

Addendum: Steve Roman notes that the USLAW.IGAMING.JAN07 contract has skyrocketed&#8230- maybe wrongly&#8230-


Dublin, July 14, 2006: New US Law passed and signed by the US President

The contract(s) will be expired at 100 if (including but not limited to):
The 109th US Congress passes a bill and the US President signs a new law that amends the federal criminal code to prohibit persons engaged in the business of betting or wagering from knowingly accepting credit, electronic fund transfers, checks, drafts, or similar instruments, or the proceeds of any other financial transaction in connection with unlawful internet gambling. The law must be signed on or before 11:59:59pm ET on the date specified in the contract.

The contract(s) will be expired at 0 if (including but not limited to):
There is no such bill passed by Congress or the bill is not signed into law by the US President on/before 11:59:59pm ET on the date specified in the contract.

Due to the nature of this contract please also see Contract Rule 1.9 (Unforeseen Circumstances).
The Exchange reserves the right to invoke Contract Rule 1.8 (Time Protection) if deemed appropriate.
Any changes to the result after the contract has been expired will not be taken into account. Exchange Rule 1.4
You are obligated to contact the exchange by email to [email protected] if you have any questions regarding this contract before you enter an order.


Addendum: This is from a trader (scoresman923) on the TradeSports forum:



Please discuss the passing of this new bill and let your bettors know all implications of the bill. We have invested a lot of time and money in your site and have been loyal customers. I fear for my funds invested and if you do not discuss this issue I will be forced to withdraw all funds within the next couple of months.

Thank you.


Addendum: Clarification October 5th 2006:
The above contract will expire at 100 if/when the President signs the current &#8220-Safe Port Act&#8221-, which includes the section Unlawful Internet Gambling, which was passed by Congress on September 29th, 2006. If he does not sign this bill or similar by December 31st, 2006, the contract will expire at Zero.