Bets Paid on Joe Biden Becoming 46th President, While US Election Remains Unsettled
Posted on: November 5, 2020, 02:28h.
Last updated on: November 5, 2020, 03:47h.
Bets on former VP Joe Biden becoming the next president of the United States are being paid out.
Despite the 2020 US presidential election not being fully resolved, Australian sports betting platform Sportsbet feels confident enough in an eventual Biden victory that it’s resolving wagers on the Democratic candidate. The Melbourne-based company is licensed in Australia to facilitate sports and political betting online.
— Sportsbet.com.au (@sportsbetcomau) November 5, 2020
Sportsbet says it has paid out more than 100,000 bets on Biden totaling AUD$23 million ($16.75 million USD).
In a press release, Sportsbet said once Michigan was projected to go to the Democrat, it was the company’s opinion that Trump’s path to another four years became blocked.
After CNN projected the state of Michigan would go to the Democrats and holding the ascendancy in Nevada and Arizona, the online bookmaker has deemed the lead unassailable,” the statement explained. “We have supreme confidence that Biden will end up in the Oval Office,” added Sportsbet Communications Manager Richard Hummerston.
Vote counting is still going on in several states. But all eyes are focused on Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona.
Could History Repeat?
Paying out on assumed winning bets isn’t without risk. And Sportsbet’s sister company Paddy Power knows that all too well.
It was only four years ago that the Irish bookmaker deemed Hillary Clinton the US presidential election victor, and decided to award wagers on the Democrat. That ill-fated decision cost the sportsbook more than $1.1 million. And with Trump winning the White House, Paddy Power was on the hook for another $5 million in bets on the billionaire.
“We’ve been well and truly thumped by Trump, with his victory leaving us with the biggest political pay-out in the company’s history and some very, very expensive egg on our faces,” Paddy Power spokesperson Lewis Davey said in November 2016.
Paddy Power and Sportsbet are both units of Flutter Entertainment, a bookmaking holding company formed in 2016 by the $7.6 billion merger of Paddy Power and Betfair.
Sportsbet’s track record in early payouts is also tainted. Last year, Sportsbet paid out bets on Bill Shorten and the Labor Party taking federal control. The mistake cost the bookmaker $1 million.
Sportsbet says it feels confident in its Biden decision, and the current odds suggest the company should be.
UK bookmaker William Hill has Biden at 1/14, which implies him having a 93.3 percent chance of becoming the 46th president of the United States. Betfair, the London betting firm that says more than $650 million has been wagered on its exchange, has Biden at 1/12 (92.31 percent).
Sportsbet also has Biden himself.
“Each ballot must be counted, and that’s what we’re going to see,” Biden said during a brief statement this evening. “Senator [Kamala Harris] and I continue to feel very good about where things stand. We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be declared the winners.”