The 2020 US Presidential election is still not over for the British person who bet $1.3 million on Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s victory and still awaits his winnings.
When placed on October 29, the wager was the largest recorded single bet on a political event. However, within a day, this record was humbled by another unidentified bettor who staked $5 million on the Republican President Trump. If Trump had been victorious, the mysterious former banker would have won a $15 million payout.
However, as of now, the winning bettor who placed a wager on Biden’s victory awaits his payouts from Betfair, the world’s largest online betting exchange. This US presidential election has become the world’s biggest political event in the betting world. But days after most media outlets have announced Biden’s victory, with Biden himself giving victory speeches, and has received congratulations from across the world leaders, including China, the UK bettor still requires the ‘confirmation’ of the Democratic candidate’s victory from Betfair.
So far, he is not able to collect $710,000 (£540,000) profit and original stake. According to a Betfair spokesperson who spoke on the matter earlier this, the “market will be settled once the result has been officially confirmed.”
Betfair Explains Reasons for Delay
Bets are usually settled following a result announcement from news networks and a concession by the losing candidate, Betfair said. But this political event is different as the losing presidential candidate has net conceded defeat officially. Instead, he plans to pursue a legal case challenging the election in a process that would delay formal certifications of the results.
The unprecedented situation that has been unfolding following Tuesday’s election and the unusual delays in the results have made gambling sites hold hundreds of millions of dollars in payouts. The incumbent president is unlikely to concede and is set to challenge the vote in those key states that decided the victory in Biden’s favor. Amid this uncertainty, Betfair alone has almost $600 million (£455.5 million) in bookings awaiting an official result.
“We will only settle the markets when there is certainty around which candidate has the most projected electoral college votes,” the company said. Betfair suggested that the bettors “wait for clarity” around the current vote counts, recounts, and any potential legal challenges to the election outcome.
When Will the Dust Settle?
More than $1 billion has been wagered on this US presidential election, and the majority of the gamblers reportedly backed Biden. This majority, in particular the bettor who placed the third biggest bet in Betfair’s history on the biggest political event, must be wishing for a decisive victory for the Democratic candidate. Any potential delay in the smooth transition of power would only mean more sleepless nights for the bettors awaiting payouts.
But a delay appears to be the most likely scenario. At least Betting firm Sport Index thinks so; the company trading spokesman Phill Fairclough noted Trump’s refusal to concede could mean that he remains in the White House until late February despite Biden’s inauguration as the succeeding president on January 20.
While speaking to a news outlet, Fairclough said the company is waiting for the conclusion of the safe harbor deadline (December 8) to have clarity from legal and constitutional aspects before settling the winner of the election and the Electoral College Votes market. He further said that all the roads lead to a court battle, meaning a delay in Biden’s move-in date to Pennsylvania Avenue is likely.