Gambling companies could lose millions if Trump re-elected. ‘Like 2016 all over again’

Mike Stunson
·2 min read

If President Donald Trump wins the election next week, gambling companies could be out millions of dollars.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden is the favorite among oddsmakers to win, but bettors are putting their money on the underdog — Trump, according to BetOnline.

The online gambling company said Friday “it’s beginning to feel like 2016 all over again.”

Hillary Clinton was the heavy favorite to win the 2016 presidential election. And she did win the popular vote, with 48.2% compared to Trump’s 46.1%. But in a shock to the gambling world, Trump pulled out the victory by winning the Electoral College.

This time around, OddsChecker gives Trump a 34.8% chance of winning, but the company says he has accounted for 65% of all bets placed.

That means the company would have to pay big big time if Trump defies the odds and wins.

“Political stances aside, we’ll all be rooting for the favorite next week,” Dave Mason, brand manager at BetOnline, said of Biden. “That’s uncommon in our industry, but we need Biden in a big way.”

Betfair gives Trump a 35% chance of victory, up from 33% Wednesday. It’s rare for odds to shift like that so close to an election.

“It is highly unusual for the underdog in an election to have their odds improve in the final days of a campaign,” Betfair spokesperson Darren Hughes told Newsweek. “However, in all previous elections, the favorite going into the final seven days have seen their odds improve. Trump is bucking this trend.”

The election is already historic among sports books. An estimated $1 billion has been bet on the election — more than double from the 2016 election, said Matthew Shaddick, head of political gambling with British gambling company GVC.

At GVC, 70% of bets this week have been on Trump, Shaddick told CBS News.

“Clearly, they do not care about the polls,” he said. “Some think they are fake or the polls miss out millions of Trump supporters. It is incredible the confidence they have on that side of Trump winning.”

In a year when the Summer Olympics and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were canceled because of COVID-19, bettors are apparently getting their fix with the election. It’s the biggest betting event of all time, according to Betfair Exchange.

Poll analysis site FiveThirtyEight.com gives Biden an 89% chance of winning the election. In 2016, it gave Clinton a 71% chance of a victory.

“When there’s a fishy line or movement in sports betting, the old adage is that ‘Vegas knows something,’” Mason said. “But in 2016, it was the bettors in the know. The oddsmakers make a living being on the right side, but they were dead wrong that year.”