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Emily D. Swoboda
 

Market Volatility Spreading the Wealth

21 January 2009

It seems reasonable to assume that financial spread bettors would not fare well amid such volatile market conditions, but according to WorldSpreads' business development manager, some very astute gamblers are making a killing right now because of those very conditions.

"As far as speculation within financial markets is concerned, [financial spread betting] is most definitely the most appropriate way to trade your way out of volatile markets," Conall McSorley told IGamingNews.

In essence, financial spread betting gives punters the opportunity to bet on whether a stock will go up or down in a day without buying the underlying product.

"So, if someone wants to buy $1,000 worth of, oh I don't know, Vodafone shares, that's obviously subject to capital gains tax, execution through a broker, etc.," Mr. McSorley said. "And the more it goes up, if you've predicted it the right way, the more you can win. And equally, and most importantly, you can make money out of the market falling, which is why the volatile markets are a great business for a financial spread betting company."

Mr. McSorley also explained the very profitable technique of shorting stocks -- a particularly attractive practice in this economy -- which means a punter predicts a stock or index to fall below the spread.

"So, let's talk about the FTSE 100 and we say the spread is going to be between 4,000 and 4,001 points," he said. "Well, somebody comes in and says they think it's going to falter or fall dramatically and they become sellers, or shorters of that quote. If it goes down to 3,500 then they've won 500 times their stake."

WorldSpreads is licensed by the United Kingdom's Financial Services Authority and headquartered in Ireland. But in March 2008, the company set up shop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with hopes of Asian expansion.

And while WorldSpreads' Malaysian office is currently operating as a Web solutions provider, Mr. McSorley said Asia is a region that is still relatively untouched by financial spread betting firms but it is also a region where there is tremendous interest in financial markets.

"You only have to look at Singapore becoming the third largest forex market in the world to see how the global financial entities have moved to Asia," he said. "And that trickles down to speculation."

But besides Asia's economic attributes, gambling is deeply rooted in tradition in the Asian countries, some activities tracing back more than 4,000 years.

"Anyone who has ever spent time in Asia knows just how interwoven into the culture of Asia gaming and betting is," he added. "If we can fuse interest in the financial market with the passion that they have for gambling there then that should something that has a lot of upside for us as a business."

The Asian financial spread betting market is relatively small at the moment compared to its European counterpart.

Still, Mr. McSorley said, geographically, Asia has the largest potential to grow the financial spread betting sector, particularly because it is illegal in the United States.

Conference Spotlight: Asian i-Gaming Congress & Expo

Conall McSorley will speak more about the revenue potential for financial spread betting on Feb. 25 at AIG.

Click here for more information on this event.

Market Volatility Spreading the Wealth is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda