The Bharatiya Janata Party is the clear favourite both at the Centre and Delhi, as far as the bookies are concerned.
According to betting rates for the elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was slated to win at least 200 of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. In the Capital it might win five of seven seats. Its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was the clear favourite to become the next PM.
For the Congress, it was a mixed bag, according to bookies. The party was expected to win at least 70 seats at the Centre and 85 seats at the most. In Delhi, however, the party was expected to win only a single seat. Rahul Gandhi was the second favourite to become PM, though.
The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Arvind Kerjriwal was the least favourite to become PM or, for that matter, even the CM. Bookies said that the AAP might win six seats nationally but only one seat in Delhi. His elevation to either office being the least probable, a `100 bet on him, in the event that he won either seat, would yield as much as `50,000 to a gambler.
It was a tough Sunday for gamblers in the national capital region with a clash between two significant betting opportunities: the T20 World Cup final and the eve of the Lok Sabha elections.
Gamblers and bookmakers whom HT spoke to said they were in two minds about where to place their bets with their traditional bent towards betting on a cricket final promising lesser cash returns than betting on who would sweep the country politically. Police officers confirmed the average gamblers’ conundrum.
“It’s simply a matter of which is a relatively better investment,” said a bookmaker. “Betting on the match has limited outcomes since there are just two teams. But with the elections the betting possibilities are endless and everyone has a chance at making some money.”
HT accessed betting rates on the streets for both the cricket final and the elections. According to these, till before the beginning of the India-Sri Lanka T20 final in Bangladesh, India’s winning or losing was expected to yield returns between Rs. 78 and Rs. 80 on Rs. 100 bets, respectively.
Bets placed on the elections, however, promised a payday upwards of Rs. 5000 on a mere Rs. 100 bet for the least probable outcome.
“With the elections, bets can be placed for everything from how many seats a party will win in a state to who will become PM,” said a police officer. “Most of these rates originates in Haryana where betting on elections, according to inputs, was in full swing instead of betting on the cricket final,” the officer added. A gambler based in north Delhi agreed, “I placed more money on Modi than on India this time around,” he said.