Jair Bolsonaro Could Be Close to Giving Up the Brazil Presidency, According to Bettors

Posted on: October 11, 2022, 07:06h. 

Last updated on: October 11, 2022, 04:48h.

If the way political betting markets are running is any indication, Brazil may soon see the return of a former president. The runoff election between incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and presidential hopeful Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has the latter with a commanding lead.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro stands in front of the country flag during a presentation. Political bettors think he could lose the runoff election at the end of this month. (Image: Al Jazeera)

The two candidates were the front-runners in this month’s election, with Lula da Silva squeezing out a slight advantage at the polls. However, because he didn’t grab at least 50% of the votes as required by law, a runoff between the two was necessary.

That secondary trip to the polls will come on October 30. Sports betting operators have lines running on who will win, and Lula da Silva still has the advantage.

Political Bettors Expect Change in Brazil

A survey of six unidentified sportsbooks by Brazilian media outlet VEJA and Fábio Machado shows a percentage of approximate odds for each candidate, as estimated by bettors. Machado is the head of the Statistics Department of the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of São Paulo.

The results show Lula da Silva in front of Bolsonaro in the race. His odds of winning are around 69.3%, while the sitting president only has odds of 30.6%.

The survey and its results are loose – they’re only based on “interpretations” and “conjectures,” according to Machado.

However, the data is irrefutable. Bet365 has Lula da Silva at odds of -250, and Bolsonaro at +175. William Hill puts the former at -300 and the latter at +225.

Smarkets has Lula da Silva way out in front as well. He’s getting support from around 72% of the input, while Bolsonaro only has just under 29%.

The NFL season has gotten off to a good start for underdogs, who have had a lot of success in their games. However, since Lula da Silva won the first round and has a strong lead now, he’s likely to take the runoff election. If Bolsonaro wants to win, he’s going to have to make a huge policy change to sway voters in his favor.

Sports Betting Expansion On Hold

The implications of the election reach across all public and private sectors in Brazil, including sports betting. The House of Deputies made significant progress advancing legislation before the Senate put up a roadblock.

In addition, Bolsonaro, in an attempt to appease the religious community, has repeatedly said he would get in the way of gambling expansion. While the Liberal Party, Bolsonaro’s political affiliation, has kept a strong hold on the Senate, it’s possible that his exit could lead to changes.

A win by Lula da Silva doesn’t automatically guarantee that sports betting legislation will advance, either. He has been against gambling in the past, but not to the same degree as Bolsonaro. Now faced with a new reality surrounding online gambling that differs from when he served before as president, he might be ready to push the topic over the finish line.