December 20, 2011
Happy holidays and happy punting!
The Smarkets Team
December 19, 2011
Smarkets CEO Jason Trost was asked to write a piece about online gambling for the inaugural issue of new UK technology magazine The Kernel. Jason’s op-ed piece appears in today’s digital issue – click on over here to read it.
Results are in from the Feltham & Heston by-election and on a reduced turnout, Labour have held onto the seat by a mile. This will relieve some of the mounting pressure on Ed Miliband, who has been criticised by Labour insiders for failing to make an impact with the wider public.
What are the odds on a 2012 exit? Our market puts a 29% chance of the Labour leader being ousted next year. This may be a little pessimistic – if next year passes without improvement in the economy Miliband’s steady approach may yet bare dividends.
And with Cameron briefing his MPs to expect further pain next year, Miliband still has plenty of opportunities to find a message that resonates with the public.
But with the Labour party trailing the Tories by 2pts in the national polls you can be sure that the knives will be out for the Labour leader if his performance does not improve. This is certainly one to watch in 2012.
December 15, 2011
While you can’t bet on Facebook yet, Smarkets is letting you bet about Facebook.
The tech world is caught up with the impending announcement of Facebook going public. As a tech start-up, we’re also curious as to how it will unfold – so today we’re introducing two new markets where you can bet on the Facebook IPO:
Bet on the month during which Facebook will go public. Will it be a Christmas surprise or will they wait until the summer? Think you know? Well, now you can make some money from it.
How much do you think Facebook is really worth? Bet on the market capitalisation at the end of the first day following their IPO. We’re personally hoping that they’re worth enough to update Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe.
Details on how each contract will be settled and the options for betting can be found on their individual pages.
The Smarkets Team
December 14, 2011
The pomp and circumstance is over but the lives of X-Factor winners Little Mix will never be the same. We did some number crunching and came up with the following:
Portion of the £1 million that X-Factors are allowed to keep – the remaining £850,00 is used for ‘recording and marketing purposes’
Margin by which Shayne Ward won the 2007 series (beating Journey South and Andy Abraham)
Age 2008 winner Leona Lewis was when she wrote her first full length song
Number of X-Factor winners who have been dropped from Syco, Simon Cowell’s record label (all males – could Matt Cardle be next?)
Age of inaugural X-Factor winner, Steve Brookstein, when he won
Age of the oldest member of Little Mix, Jesy Nelson
Amount that Little Mix stands to make from endorsements following Sunday night’s win
Number of copies 2008 winner Alexandra Burke’s single ‘Hallelujah’ sold in a 24-hour period.
Number of debut singles that were not covers of other popular songs (‘That’s My Goal’, by 2007 winner Shayne Ward)
Salary that Tulisa Contostavlos earned for her stint as a judge – set to double next year if she returns.
Number of singles 2008 winner Leona Lewis has sold worldwide (as of Dec 2011)
Year when the X-Factor/ITV deal Simon Cowell brokered will be over
Amount that 2009 winner Joe McElderry was sold for on shopping network QVC during a charity auction
Amount that Simon Cowell is worth as reported by the Sunday Times Rich List
December 9, 2011
Recently, we’ve been having some issues with our settlement system which causes problems with bet placement during very busy periods. To make sure that your bets aren’t affected this weekend (Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th of December), we’ve taken the decision to delay settling events until after the busiest part of the day. We’re aiming have all events settled by midnight each day.
This is a temporary workaround, and we’re really sorry for the inconvenience it’ll cause. We’re working as hard as we can to sort out these settlement problems, and hopefully we’ll have it solved by next weekend.
If we have any further problems, we’ll (as always) post updates on Twitter.
The Smarkets Team.
December 7, 2011
Christmas comes early at Smarkets headquarters – we’ve got a new Smarkets arb tool for all our lovely customers. The easy to use bookmarklet lets you compare Smarkets’ odds with those across a wide array of other online bookmakers. Here is what the first version offers:
- Prices for any Football market on Smarkets, from any site!
- Inlineodds comparison – See how much better a price you can get on Smarkets.
- Quick Arbitrage Calculator, just enter the price you see and we’ll tell you if you can arb it!
Click on over here for the full details and installation instructions: Smarkets Arbitrage Tool
And if you’re not sure how to arb or want more information, visit the Smarkets Academy, where you can learn about arbitrage, bookmaker bonus arbitrage, and find out how to arbitrage between bookmakers.
We love feedback, so let us know what you think of our new toy!
December 6, 2011
When British boxer David Hayes hung up his gloves in October, he expressed an interest in pursuing an acting career. While most professional athletes move into coaching, management or philanthropic roles, there are a handful who have switched gears completely. This prompted us to look into the proposed and actual second lives of professional athletes – what happens when the whistle blows?
Jason Statham – Actor
British-born Statham was a member of the National Diving team for over a decade. His best showing was at the 1992 World Championships, where he finished twelfth. Statham made the shift to acting after getting cast as a model for the clothing chain French Connection. Guy Ritchie, who was then an up-and-coming director, met Statham and decided to put him in his hit film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The success of the movie helped Statham’s thespian aspirations enormously. Now a fixture on the Hollywood action movie circuit, Statham has appeared in over twenty films.
Anna Kournikova – Professional Beauty
Anna Kournikova’s tennis career wasn’t exactly a smash hit. Hailed as a bright young thing to watch at the tender age of fifteen, Kournikova ultimately gained notoriety for her moves off the court instead of on. The Russian beauty failed to win a major singles championship throughout her tenure on the WTA, but that hasn’t stopped her from capitalising on her fame. She’s been linked to Russian hockey players Pavel Bure and Sergei Fedorov in the past, and had a widely publicized relationship with Latin singer Enrique Iglesias. She is currently a celebrity trainer on the US reality TV series The Biggest Loser.
Imran Khan – Politician
Born into an upper-middle class family in Pakistan, Imran Khan’s illustrious cricket career started to take shape while he was a student at Oxford. Khan would go on to captain the Pakistani cricket team for a decade, eventually leading them to a World Cup victory over England in 1992. Post retirement, Khan, who read PPE at Keble College, dabbled in social work before entering politics. Firmly focused on helping Pakistan become a welfare state with a genuine democracy, Khan has aspirations of becoming the country’s Prime Minister.
Rio Ferdinand – Renaissance Man
Perhaps the most impressive athlete on our list. While money can buy franchises, ghost writers and commercial property, it can’t buy natural talent – something that Rio Ferdinand appears to have in spades. Growing up, Ferdinand was a regular fixture in school plays. He also took ballet classes, eventually winning a scholarship to the famed Central School of Ballet. Currently, Ferdinand co-owns a record label and regularly tweets about his love for the X-Factor. He was an executive producer on the 2009 film Dead Man Burning and is reportedly working on a documentary about growing up in Peckham. We think he made the right choice though, as dancing en pointe and creating independent films doesn’t pay nearly as much as playing footie does.
George Foreman – Spokesman
The acclaimed boxer staged a comeback at the age of 45, regaining his title as world heavyweight champion. Foreman credited his success in part to a healthy lifestyle – and thus the partnership between the boxer and the fat-reducing grill was born. By slapping his name on the piece of machinery and doing promotional work for the company that invented it, Foreman earned an estimated £125 million – more than he ever made as a professional boxer.
Shaquille O’Neal – Rapper/Actor
A massive NBA success story, Shaquille O’Neal boasts a career as colourful off the court as on, though we’re not sure that’s a good thing. Remember his acting in Kazaam? If you can’t, consider yourself lucky. O’Neal has also branched out into the music department, laying down tracks as a rap artist on five albums, including a Best Of compilation disc. While we can’t knock his hustle, we can knock his lyrics…and Shaq’s attempts at intelligent rhyming are comical at best: Merry, merry quite contrary/And Captain Crunch, berry good. (Yes, you read that correctly).
Serena Williams – Entrepreneur
One of the best women’s tennis players in history, the younger Williams sister has carved out an impressive portfolio of side projects. She partnered with Nike in 2004 to produce fashionwear in a deal worth approximately £25 million. Along with sister Venus, she is a part owner of the Miami Dolphins franchise. In 2010 she became a qualified nail technician, voicing a desire to start her own nail care brand (she currently has a line of colours in partnership with OPI). All this in addition to winning thirteen Grand Slams – anyone else wondering how she finds time to sleep?
Theo Walcott – Children’s Book Author
As if being the youngest footballer to play for England, scoring a Nike sponsorship deal at fourteen and being called ‘one of the most dangerous players I have ever played against’ by Lionel Messi isn’t enough – Walcott somehow finds time to pen a series of children’s books. Based on his experiences growing up, the books revolve around a young boy named T.J. and his group of football loving friends. For the most part, his efforts have been well received – and in a day and age where literacy rates are alarmingly low, we salute young Theo for encouraging kids to read.
Novak Djokovic – Comedian
Djokovic is enjoying the best year of his life on the ATP tour and it’s unlikely that he’ll be stopping soon. However should the worst happen (breaks a leg, squanders his millions) and he’s forced to pick a back-up career, ‘professional clown’ would suit him perfectly. Dubbed the ‘Djoker’, Djokovic was, until this year, more famous for his impressions of his fellow athletes than for his playing record. In a Youtube video that went viral, Djokovic is seen capturing the physical mannerisms of Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick et al., perfectly. Hollywood certainly seems to have faith in his acting abilities – Djokovic was recently asked to appear in The Expendables 2 alongside Sylvester Stallone and Jet Li.
Sean Avery – Fashion Editor
The undisputed brat of the National Hockey League, we can only hope that Sean Avery’s irritating persona will serve him well with the Devil Wears Prada set. During the 2008 off-season, he interned at storied fashion magazine Vogue, under the direction of Ms. Anna Wintour herself. Having guest-edited for MensVogue.com, Avery also contributed to a style advice column on AskMen.com. Having a boorish athlete who is also fashion savvy was enough to attract the interest of New Line Cinema – apparently a film based on Avery’s experiences as a fashion intern is in development.
December 1, 2011
Ah December – harried shoppers on Oxford Street, school children on break clogging up the overheated tube and spending Christmas Eve with your mother-in-law – what’s not to love about the holidays?
Fortunately at Smarkets we haven’t got any Christmas sweaters or fruit cake on offer. In addition to our popular football and horse racing markets, we’ve added some seasonal ones. Place your bets here if you think London is going to have a white Christmas instead of a grey one. The Professional Darts Championship takes place from December 16th, 2011 – January 3rd, 2012 – and we’ve added a winner market. If you’re in London and you feel like making the trek to Ally Pally, you can watch it live.
The X Factor and I’m A Celebrity …Get Me Out of Here 2011 both come to a close just in time for the holiday break. We’ll also find out who won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award on December 22nd (they revealed their top ten yesterday).
And keep checking back for NBA Basketball to be added to our site when the regular season finally starts up again on December 25th!