Prague, Jan 18 (CTK) – The chances of former Science Academy head Jiri Drahos to be elected Czech president have been rising in the past few days, according to bookmakers who wave lowered the odds for his victory since Monday from 1.6-1 – 1.68-1 to 1.5-1 – 1.52-1, the betting agencies told CTK on Thursday.

Up to 80 betters believe in Drahos’s victory against President Milos Zeman in the second round of the presidential election to be held on January 26-27.

Bets on Zeman being re-elected are now accepted at the odds from 2.452-1 to 2.75-1.

“The betters’ interest is enormous, though there is more than one week before the second round. Since Saturday, we have accepted bets for roughly ten million crowns, while 80 percent on Drahos’s victory. The biggest bet was 526,000 crowns at odds of 1.66-1,” Fortuna spokesman Petr Srain said.

The Tipsport agency bookmakers say they expect a narrow result of the runoff vote, while the winner may get under 53 percent.

Fortuna bookmakers are of the view that Zeman will win in nine out of the 14 Czech regions, while he is a favourite in the Usti, Vysocina and Moravia-Silesia regions with odds of 1.03-1.

On the contrary, Drahos is a favourite in Prague as well as the Central Bohemia and Hradec Kralove regions, according to the odds. Fortuna does not even enable bets on his victory in Prague since it is taken for granted.

Besides, on Wednesday, Fortuna released odds for a moderator of the debate of the presidential candidates on public Czech Television (CT), scheduled for next Thursday.

CT announced this morning that it would be Svetlana Witowska instead of Vaclav Moravec, who refused to moderate the TV duel. The bookmakers then withdrew her odds.

“We received the first quite high bet on Witowska on Wednesday afternoon,” Fortuna chief bookmaker Fortuna Michal Hanak said, adding that the odds gradually decreased from 25-1 to 1-01-1.

According to the Tipsport estimates, 1.5 million viewers over 15 will watch the TV debate.

The betting agencies register a high interest in bets on the presidential election’s results. On Monday, the betting sum amounted to 145 million crowns, which is three times higher compared to the first direct presidential election five years ago.

As far as the volume of the bets is concerned, the record event was so far the last October general election with the estimated total sum of 105 million crowns betted on its result.