The decade's most triggering comedy
President Donald Trump has not yet conceded in the 2020 presidential election, and bookmakers who took bets on the winner aren’t ready to call the race, either.
Online gambling sites have yet to call Biden “president-elect,” which has put millions of dollars in wagers in limbo. “At one site alone, London-based Betfair, nearly $600 million in presidential wagers are hanging tight,” the New York Post reported.
“We still have not graded a winner,” Adam Burns, sportsbook manager of BetOnline, told the Post, adding that a call awaits resolution on the Trump campaign’s legal wranglings. “People who bet Trump say it is not over. People who bet Biden say it is. This makes for a tricky situation where we have to be sure. It’s not like a football game,” Burns said.
And that’s left lots of money in the kitty. “The presidential election was bigger than the Super Bowl, which is normally our biggest event of the year,” said Burns. “We kept taking action, with fluctuating odds for a few days after the election. But now the bet is [no longer available] and we’re hoping for an official decision.”
Bookmakers took a bath in 2016. One bookie, Paddy Power, was so confident that Hillary Clinton would win that it actually paid out on all bets placed on her more than two weeks before the election.
“With national polls showing a healthy lead for the Democratic candidate and Donald Trump’s campaign running into scandal after scandal, Paddy Power believes it’s a done deal and that Hillary is a nailed-on certainty to occupy the Oval Office,” Gambling.com reported Oct. 26, 2016.
That move came as the site’s forecast in the weeks before the election said Clinton had a 70% chance of winning and Trump a 30% shot. So Paddy Power just paid out $1.1 million early.
“Trump gave it a hell of a shot going from a rank outsider to the Republican candidate, but the recent flood of revelations have halted his momentum and his chances now look as patchy as his tan,” the bookmaker said. “Recent betting trends have shown one-way traffic for Hillary and punters seemed to have called it 100 percent correct. Despite Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ message appealing to many disillusioned voters, it looks as though America [is] going to put a woman in the White House.”
Paddy Power ended up losing $4.7 million on the race, Gambling.com reported.
Even though there are still some cards to play in the 2020 presidential election, Trump is the odds-on favorite Republican to win in 2024, according to one bookmaker.
“While still refusing to concede defeat this year, Trump’s mind may soon start tracking to 2024,” Joe Short wrote last week on Gambling.com.
“The businessman holds a huge sway over the Republican party and millions of loyal voters – so were he to decide to run again, there’s little others in the GOP could do to stop him. Trump would be 78 come the next election but has already proved the polls and betting odds wrong by winning the 2016 vote. At 10/1 it is not out of the question that the man who rocked American politics four years ago will be celebrating a second term four years from now,” Short wrote.
As for other Republicans, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (12-1), Vice President Mike Pence (16-1), and Ivanka Trump (25-1) are all top-tier choices.
“[F]ormer Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley brings wide appeal to various demographics in America. She has also worked as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, meaning her political standing on the international stage is far greater than most. Haley was targeted by Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, for not backing up the president’s claim of voter fraud on the days after the election. If a Trump name isn’t running in 2024 then Haley is certainly a candidate,” Short wrote.
“Having served as Trump’s VP over the last four years, Mike Pence has been remarkably quiet since election day. The 61-year-old appears to have kept his powder dry for now but will no-doubt be a notable presence within the Republican party between here and 2024. Pence may not be flavour of the month at present but a former VP holds sway when it comes to deciding presidential candidates, and Pence has the experience and connections to go for the top job,” he wrote.