US Presidential Election On Track To Become Largest Gambling Event In History

It’s that time again, and bookmakers are reporting previously unseen betting amounts for both candidates. According to consolidated reports, more than $1.3 billion has been wagered across both contestants heading into in-person voting at the polls today (November 3rd, 2020).

Since wagering on crucial elections such as at the presidential and state levels is illegal in the United States, the bulk of this figure comes from betting operators in the UK and other parts of Europe.

UK-Based Bookmakers See Record Wagers

UK-based Betfair Exchange, for example, has come out to announce that the Trump-Biden wager is already the largest in the platform’s history. According to the company, more than 250 million pounds (or $326 million) worth of wagers had been placed on the platform as of November 1st. The platform also expects this number will rise as it accounts for bets placed after then, surpassing 400 million pounds (or $520 million).

Betting on this year’s presidential election is expected to be twice that of the now second-placed event on the platform – 2016’s election.

Driving this figure is the fact that the election has also seen a number of high-value wagers. According to a UK firm, a British Gambler put down a million pounds ($1.3 million) on Joe Biden to emerge victorious against Donald Trump. This bet would net the individual $1.9 million should Biden emerge victoriously. Alongside this, there have also been a number of big bets placed on both candidates from all over the world.

Current Odds

The polls aren’t the only predictor metric that’s heating up ahead of voting later today. According to industry watchers, Trump’s odds at re-election grew by a small margin over the past weekend. The incumbent now has a 35% chance of winning the election, as opposed to 34% just a week earlier. This doesn’t change much, though, as Biden is still the overwhelming favorite with a 65% chance of unseating Trump to become the next US president.

Many bookmakers are coming out to say that with the election date drawing nearer, they are going to pay close attention to the usual heavily-contested battleground states. These states might play host to trends that will swing the election either way and as such, require close monitoring in order for the odds to be adjusted as needed.

According to one bookmaker:

“Florida is one where the polls suggest Biden is the more likely winner, but the betting markets have Trump as favorite there. The GOP has tended to overperform the polls quite regularly in that state.”

In essence, the discrepancy between the polls and bookmaker odds in many states means that in those states at least, this election might be closer than previously thought.

Either way, this edition is shaping up to be one for the ages. With the country facing mounting issues like mass evictions, soaring unemployment, and police tensions, the next four years – with whomever wins at the helm of affairs – will be crucial to America’s sustained prosperity.

Nothing New

Ever since bookmakers began taking comprehensive records, America’s elections always had a knack for flooring other major events in terms of amounts wagered. 2016’s edition, for instance, saw more than $300 million in bets just in the United Kingdom alone – surpassing major events like the Super Bowl and March Madness that year.

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Jackson
Our in-house expert for all things regulation, Jackson covers all major recent developments across US states relating to gambling laws & legislation.