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Bet on Next U.N. Secretary General

28 Sep 2006

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -– (PRESS RELEASE) -- The world has been rife with speculation as to who will be named the next United Nations Secretary General when Kofi Annan's term expires on the final day of 2006. The most influential role in the UN, the Secretary General will be appointed for a five-year term by the General Assembly on recommendation of the Security Council. With the successor to Kofi Annan yet to be determined, leading online sportsbook has posted odds on who will be named the eighth UN Secretary General.

The largest sports betting site on the Internet, is the source for odds on all major political races and world events. The oddsmakers at Pinnacle Sports discovered a unique betting pattern on the Secretary General offer after receiving multiple wagers on the same two nominees within seconds. As a result, has adjusted the offer listing individual odds only for the two nominees that received these wagers while including all other candidates as part of the field.

Current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for South Korea Ban Ki-moon has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to succeed Kofi Annan as UN Secretary General at 10/11 odds (i.e., win $10 for every $11 bet). Straw polls taken in July and September favored Ki-moon for the position and it appears that bettors believe the results of those polls will come to fruition when the eighth chief administrative officer of the UN is unveiled. Meanwhile, Shashi Tharoor of India, current UN Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, is the only other nominee to receive backing from bettors and currently stands at 6/1 to ascend to the top of the United Nations.

"After first opening wagering on who will be the next UN Secretary General, we were inundated with bets placed on just two of the five official nominees that we listed individual odds for, all within a matter of seconds," said Simon Noble of "Whenever we see a betting pattern of this kind, it's usually an excellent indicator of who the market believes are the clear favorites to win an election. While Ki-moon was an early frontrunner to succeed Annan, it was somewhat surprising to see bettors back Tharoor with such frequency and regularity."

All other world diplomats that may attain the position have been listed together in the "field" option, which currently lists at 3/2 odds. Although there's been talk of former President Bill Clinton being among those in contention for the position, it's little more than rumor. The position loosely follows a cycle where each Secretary General comes from a different continent and the general consensus in the General Assembly is that it is Asia's turn. In addition, appointing President Clinton would represent a major departure from tradition as it appears to be an unwritten rule that the Secretary General cannot be a national of any permanent Security Council member.

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