Friday, May 22, 2009

Now you can bet on a higher unemployment rate

What do you reckon? It's now 5.4%   Pick a lower rate, if you're game

There's about to be another way to be on the health of the economy, besides taking a punt on the recession and interest rates. Centrebet has opened Australia's first online betting market on the unemployment rate.

Most-recently 5.4 per cent after sliding from 5.7 per cent, the agency will pay out $4.00 to any punter prepared to put a dollar on the rate being steady when the next figures come out next month.

The odds it's offering suggest it believes the most-likely result is a jump back to 5.7 per cent, and the least-likely, a recovery to below 5 per cent.

The Alice Springs-based bookmaker will pay out a generous $34 to anyone brave enough to put a dollar on an unemployment rate of 4.9 per cent or below...


"This is the sort of thing punters talk about," said spokesman Neil Evans. "So we've tried to frame a market that will give them the opportunity to be proved right or wrong."

Treasurer Wayne Swan described an earlier Centrebet market on whether Australia would enter a recession as "utterly irresponsible".