The 2020 US Presidential election is becoming the biggest betting event of all time, inching the $1 billion mark after the election.
The overall record comes amid an individual milestone that saw one player placing a record-breaking $1.29 million (£1m) bet on a victory for the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.
The November 3 election is officially the biggest single betting event in the history of Betfair, one of the world’s largest online betting and gaming companies. According to the London-based company, more than $260 million has been wagered on either President Trump or his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Betfair, which allows gamblers to buy and sell shares of outcomes, announced that the 2020 race had overshadowed the 2016 US presidential betting handle. The company said more than $260 million had been bet on either of the candidates. By the election day, $519 million was wagered on the result, more than double the figure achieved during the 2016 presidential election.
According to Betfair shares, the Democratic Biden has a 66% chance of becoming the next US president. Trump’s chances of winning a second term are at 34%. The British company reported the incumbent US president has about 6700 bets and more than $4.83 million and his rival Biden has around 5250 bets and $4.7 million.
While speaking to the AFP, head of political betting at a British gambling firm GVC Matthew Shaddick said, “It’s twice as big as 2016, comfortably making it the biggest political event ever.”
Is Betting on a Presidential Election Allowed in the US?
So far, 20 states have officially legalized sports betting, with Tennessee being the latest to legalize on November 1. In addition, a total of 30 states offer legalized gambling in some form, yet betting on an election in the US is banned.
The reason for the non-availability of election betting could be explained by the infancy of the US gambling market. It has been just over two years old when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA that eventually allowed states to legislate on gambling in their jurisdictions. However, experts believe that political betting will ultimately be introduced in the coming years as it has a huge potential in the sports betting business.
What’s the Latest Situation and Odds?
Predictlt, another betting exchange, is almost in line with Betfair, giving Biden a 63% chance of becoming the 46th president of the United States. Trump has a 40% chance. Predictlt bettors are limited to wagering $850 on an event outcome.
Now, the company’s market on both US presidential candidates has set a new record for trading the most shares. On October 19, Predictlt announced that “the contracts for Biden and Trump have reached the limit for the maximum number of traders.” Enthusiasts were still rushing to place wagers on Monday on the eve of the poll. According to the head of political betting at Ladbrokes Coral Group, Matthew Shaddick, about $1.29 billion (£1bn) would be wagered globally across the betting industry.
Interestingly, there is still some momentum behind the Republican president, as Trump’s re-election chances grew moderately over the weekend. However, Biden still remained a clear favorite on internet betting markets. Bettors on the British exchange Smarkets gave Democratic candidate a 65% chance of winning, while the incumbent president’s prospects improved slightly from 34% to 35%.
The person, who placed £1 million ($1.29) in the biggest political bet of all time, will take home £1.54 million ($1.99 million) if Biden wins.
The former vice-president has a significant lead in national opinion polls. However, the contest is slightly closer in the battleground states that may decide the presidential race.