Betfred Pays Out on Biden Before AP Calls Presidential Race, Other Markets Wait

Posted on: November 7, 2020, 11:45h. 

Last updated on: November 8, 2020, 08:17h.

Democrats weren’t the only ones cheering Saturday when the Associated Press called the 2020 US Presidential election for Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Some who had money on the former vice president got an early payday from one British bookmaker.

BetFred Biden payouts
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris greet the crowd who heard their campaign acceptance speeches Saturday night in Wilmington, Del. (Image: Jim Watson/AFP)

About five hours before the AP determined at 11:25 am ET that Biden won Pennsylvania and the state’s 20 Electoral College votes to give him a clear majority in that count, Betfred Founder Fred Dunn said he had seen enough.

He’s won this election fair and square,” Dunn said about Biden in a video statement posted on the Betfred site. “Nevermind all about this nonsense of wrong votes or illegal votes. I don’t accept any of that. If it goes to court, it goes to court. But I am paying out now.”

Betfred did not disclose just how much it was paying out or to how many bettors.

While media outlets use AP projections or their own to determine winners, those are based on unofficial results. When state boards of elections post, official results varies. Certification deadlines range from last Thursday in Delaware to Dec. 11 in California.

In December, the Electoral College voters will meet in their respective states to cast ballots for the candidates that won votes in their state. Biden currently stands at 290 votes to President Donald Trump’s 214, with three states worth 34 votes remaining too close to call.

Trump, though, has tried several legal challenges, as Dunn noted in his remarks. So far, none of them have succeeded in taking votes away from his opponent.

Not only does President-elect Biden stand to win big, British sportsbooks stand to profit, because a large majority of the money bet on the presidential race went on Trump, who was an underdog for months leading to last Tuesday’s election despite his incumbency.

Recount Possibility Gives Some Pause

Betfred wasn’t the first book to reward Biden bettors. The day after the election, Australian outfit Sportsbet paid out more than US $16.7 million to more than 100,000 people who put money on Biden.

Other sportsbooks and exchanges are still holding off for now, even after Biden and his running mate California US Sen. Kamala Harris gave victory speeches Saturday evening.

“There will most likely be recounts in a few of these states,” tweeted Dave Mason with offshore sportsbook Saturday afternoon. “Additionally, there will be legal challenges from Trump. Hopefully we can grade them soon. But we need to be patient.”

BetOnline, though, has stopped taking bets on the election.

One British exchange still taking action is Betfair. As of late Saturday night, the handle surpassed $723.4 million. Current odds are Biden at -2000, meaning a $2,000 bet would net a $100 profit. That also equals implied odds of winning at better than 95 percent.

Trump’s odds of winning are currently +1800, meaning a $100 wager would win $1,800.

PredictIt, Polymarket Still Trading Shares in US

No US sportsbook can offer odds on the presidential. election. But a couple of trading sites are allowed to offer legal trading of shares for educational and research purposes. Both of those sites are still taking trades on the race.

At PredictIt, nearly 121 million shares – an all-time record – have been traded on the site, with Biden shares trading at 90 cents and Trump’s at 9 cents. Winning shares receive a $1 each. That equates Biden’s current odds at -900.

Over at Polymarket, shares of Trump losing the election are trading at 94 cents, while winning shares are priced at 6 cents. That market has a total trade volume of $10.3 million.

Both are also offering odds on a concession speech. Polymarket’s is only for Trump and by Dec. 1. With a volume of nearly $55,000, yes shares trade at 32 cents and no shares go for 68.

PredictIt’s market is for either Biden or Trump to formally concede by Nov. 17. With 944,000 shares traded, prices are similar – yes shares at 33 cents and no at 67.