US presidential election shatters political betting records as Brits trade £600M through Betfair

US presidential election shatters political betting records as Brits trade £600M through Betfair

US Presidential elections have finally cleared the doubts about the next US President in a close race to the White House. As it had been expected, the 2020 US presidential race between Republican Donald Trump and Democratic Joe Biden proved to be the biggest political betting event the world has ever witnessed.

London, UK-headquartered Betfair, the world’s leading betting exchange, has revealed that an amount of roughly £600 million (US$793M) through 3 million wagers was traded on its platform in the UK alone. That represents a spending of £9 (US$12) per head for entire population of the country.

Huge bets were also placed on the platform, with one customer placing a bet of £1 million (US$1.32M) on Biden. As Biden has scored a clear majority over the incumbent President Trump, the bettor is now expecting to get £1.54 million (US$2M).

Election betting market has predicted Biden’s victory rightly. The Betfair Electoral College had predicted around 290 to Biden, which is pretty accurate as compared with the real election results. In the real election, Biden amassed 290 Electoral College seats, while his Trump got just 214. However, the total isn’t official as the results are being challenged in court by the Republicans, who alleged prevalence of voter fraud during the whole election process.

On the day of election, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight predicted a sure (88%) victory for the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Biden. The Economist magazine had given Biden a whopping 96% chance of winning the presidential election.

The amount of $600 million, which traded through the Betfair online betting platform, was more than two times that of the last US presidential election between Trump and Hilary Clinton. At that time, an amount of just around $250 million was wagered.

On the eve of the election, Betfair itself predicted that the amount of wagering or betting on the political event could exceed the £1 billion mark across the industry.
Peter Jackson, chief executive officer (CEO) for Betfair’s parent company Flutter Entertainment, expressed optimism that the company would generate over $1.1 billion of gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the US this year.

Speaking on the topic, Jackson added, “We are now a truly global business, with significant scale. Flutter’s performance in the third quarter exceeded our expectations in both sports and gaming. Our strong trading continued as we grew market share in key regions while retaining our commitment to safer gambling practices.”

For the Q3, Flutter reported a year-on-year jump of 30% in revenue to £1.3 billion (US$1.7bn). Average daily customers increased 41% globally, while online revenue jumped 33%. New customer acquisition surpassed 450,000 during the quarter.