Public flocks political bets

February 25, 2016
Political party flags in August Town, St Andrew, in December.

Today, when Jamaicans go to vote, their choices will not only determine the new Government, but also the winnings for gamblers who have placed bets on the outcome of today's election.

Recently, sport betting company Island Bet introduced election bets. According to the Managing Director of Island Bet, Adam Epstein, the gambling venture has been met with a generally positive reaction.

"We have a more mature electorate so persons don't see betting on the elections as being negative or trivialising it, but a welcome addition to the election period," he said, refusing to disclose the number of persons who have placed bets so far.

The local betting entity says more than $2 million can be won by persons who place bets.

Gamblers can place bets on the political party that will emerge victorious, voter turnout, the number of seats that the winning party will win by, and the exact seat count for each party.

Long time gambler Wayne Feason told THE STAR that this new addition has been welcomed by his fellow betting partners.

"Most of my people (gamblers) don't vote so finally we have an interest to pay attention to elections," he said.

Despite betting regularly, Audrey Ramadan says she will not participate in something that trivialises the election process.

"Elections are serious things. Why them a mek wi election look like play play thing?" she asked.

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