Bush for president? You bet!

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Bush for president? You bet!

By James Arnold
BBC News business reporter

The polls were off-beam, the pundits were caught napping, the press didn’t cover itself in glory – did anyone confidently predict the result of the US election?

The gambling community, perhaps. A glance at the returns of some of the world’s biggest betting exchanges shows that President George W Bush remained a clear favourite with punters right down to the wire.

On the Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM), run by the University of Iowa as a forum for experimental online betting, participants gave Mr Bush a 51.2% chance of re-election on the eve of the poll – a score that tallied precisely with his eventual share of the popular vote, at the last count.

Indeed, electronic gambling is proving so uncanny a predictor of everything from oil prices to football results, that experts reckon it could be harnessed for more wholesome purposes than making money.


Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM)


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