Egypt President Hosni Mubarak resigns – SportsBooks Pay Big
February 11th, 2011 marked the day that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s tumultuous reign ended. Interestingly enough, it also marked a joyous day for some sports bettors as online sportsbooks had to pay winnings on President Mubarak stepping down.
Before controversy really started brewing in Egypt over Mubarak’s position, several sportsbooks had posted odds on the countries that were most likely to have civil unrest. Egypt actually led the way at -130, which was by far the highest odds out of any other country. According to Bookmaker.com, the next highest countries are:
As a Vice President, Hosni Mubarak initially came into power in 1981, when President Anwar El Sadat was assassinated by army officials who didn’t want to sign the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty. Mubarak was originally well-received overall after Egypt was one of the first countries to engage Iraq in 1991 during the Gulf War. After the war, both the US and several European allies forgave over $14 billion in Egyptian debt.
However, things started turning sour when people felt that Mubarak’s reign was responsible for suppressing free elections, supporting police brutality, riddled with government corruption and hindering free speech. Things only got worse during the mid and late-2000’s when unemployment started rising, food inflation increased, and the minimum wage was extremely low. People were also unhappy about the Emergency Law rule (martial law) that had been in effect since 1967, where the government and police are given increased powers, while the people have less rights and freedoms.
In late January of 2011, protesters started lining the streets of various Egyptian cities to protest Mubarak’s policy, as well as worsening conditions in the country. One of their chief demands was that Mubarak resign from office and transfer his power. Fortunately, Mubarak complied with their demands and handed power over to the army.