2020 Presidential Election Setting Betting Records, $1B in Wagers Possible

Posted on: October 28, 2020, 02:53h. 

Last updated on: October 28, 2020, 03:29h.

The November 3 presidential election between President Donald Trump and former VP Joe Biden is officially the largest single betting event in the history of London betting exchange Betfair.

presidential election odds Trump Biden
It’s likely that more than $1 billion will be wagered on the presidential election between Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. (Image: Getty)

The world’s largest betting exchange, which allows gamblers to buy (back) and sell (lay) shares of outcomes, including sports and politics, announced today that the 2020 race has eclipsed the 2016 US presidential betting handle. Betfair says more than £200 million ($260 million) has been bet on either Biden or Trump.

With six days of this election to go, analysts predict over £400 million ($519 million) could be bet on the election result — more than double the landmark figure hit four years ago,” a Betfair statement explained.

Betfair shares currently imply Biden having a 66 percent chance of becoming the 46th president of the United States. Trump’s odds of winning a second term are at 34 percent.

Billion Bet?

Sports betting is legal and operational in 19 states. But no, you still cannot go to a sportsbook and place a bet on a Trump or Biden victory. The expansion of legal sports gambling remains in its infancy, the liberalization only coming in May of 2018, when the US Supreme Court struck down the long-standing federal ban that prohibited the activity everywhere but Nevada.

New sports betting states have largely crafted their regulations — which include what sort of bets are permitted — off Nevada’s gold standard. The Silver State has never approved political betting, and, as such, neither has any other state. Oddsmakers and sportsbook operators hope that changes in the coming years, as politics would be big business.

Betfair revealing that more than a quarter of a billion dollars has been wagered on its exchange for the 2020 presidency is proof. Paired with UK bookmakers taking action on the Trump vs. Biden outcome, and total betting handle could approach the $1 billion mark when all is said and done.

That isn’t all the money being bet legally on the presidential election.

PredictIt is a betting exchange that operates legally through its issuance of a “no-action relief” from the Division of Market Oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. PredictIt bettors are limited to wagering $850 on each market — aka event outcome.

PredictIt’s market on Trump and Biden has set a new record for the most shares bought and sold. Millions of transactions have been facilitated, and on October 19, PredictIt announced that “the contracts for Joe Biden and Donald Trump have reached the limit for the allowable number of traders.”

Latest Odds

So, who is going to win?

PredictIt is nearly in line with Betfair, giving Biden a 63 percent chance of becoming Commander-in-Chief. Trump has a 40 percent chance. UK bookmakers have Biden at 8/15 (65.22 percent), and Trump 6/4 (40 percent).

There is still some momentum behind the President. Betfair reports a larger number of bets and money in recent days have been on Trump.

Betfair said in recent days, Trump has attracted roughly 6,700 bets and more than $4.83 million. During that same time, Biden was backed by 5,250 bets and $4.7 million.