The 2020 US Presidential election is shaping up to be a pivotal event. Decided between two contenders, the election of each of whom would send ripples across the world, may also be affecting events in a way that either party is little aware of, i.e. betting turnover.
Betfair Sees Massive Increase in Sports Betting Handle
In fact, the election may drive betting handle higher than expected, with Betfair Exchange reporting $258 million on the 2016 Presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Adjusting numbers for this year, Betfair has so far reported $215 million in collected wagers with $400 million as the sportsbook’s forecast, cited by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In other words, this race will most likely be the most bet on Presidential election to date.
The LVRJ cited Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom who confirmed that Biden v. Trump was indeed shaping up as the most action-packed political event in the history of the industry. Rosbottom explained that at time of answering – late last week – the total wagered handle was more than the same period in the last election, which was around $97 million on October 23-24, 2016.
William Hill on Track to Beat Expectations
Another commentary was requested from William Hill, another UK based operator which has undergone many changes, and is currently overtaken by Caesars, pending approval from shareholders who will vote on November 17.
At the time of requesting the information, William Hill had accepted $2.6 million in stakes, and is on track to better its 2016 record which brought in around $5 million in handle.
Sports Betting Handle Spills over to Offshore Sportsbooks
Bovada’s Pat Morrow confirmed in another email sent out to the LVRJ that the sportsbook was seeing a 40% increase and overall, the company is on track to see a 55% bigger turnout than in the 2016’s race.
Not only are these figures very important to political betting in general, but they are coming close to the February Super Bowl, Morrow said. In other words, the betting handle Biden v Trump attracts is as big as the NLF’s crowning event.
But how much is that? Given that in Nevada alone sports bettors placed $154.7 million on the Super Bowl in 2020, one can assume that these numbers are pretty significant. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), some 33.2 million Americans bet on the Super Bowl, and overall generate $2.3 billion annually.
Nevada Won’t Ride the Crest Due to Missing Policy
While Bovada has managed to keep the 2020 Super Bowl ahead of the Presidential race, Westgate sportsbook believes the event could generate ten times as much handle as the Super Bowl, VP Jay Kornegay said for the LVRJ.
While this could sound like good news, Las Vegas sportsbooks will have to miss on the 2020 Presidential race as Nevada doesn’t allow betting on this market, possibly forcing people to seek alternatives such as Bovada.
Bovada’s results are no doubt partly generated from residents who don’t have access to legal sports betting options at home. The sportsbooks are both excited and a little preoccupied with the outcome.
Morrow has confirmed that 60% of all bets were put on the incumbent, Donald Trump as a heavy underdog and one that would pay a huge deal. Trump is actually resonating with overseas sports bettors, Betfair commented, talking about UK punters.
Interestingly, Trump has not only sent ripples in political life, but he also drove huge money in the political betting markets, Betfair’s election expert Paul Krishnamurthy has said.
So is Trump tipped to win? In the 2016 race, he was only given about 16% chances to secure a victory around the same time of the election race, and he did it. According to Cloudbet, his probability of winning has increased to 38.5% after the second debate.
As always, sportsbooks need the dark horse to stumble.