What Donald Trump’s victory means for betting operators

By Caroline Watson
According to bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes, Donald Trump’s victory is set to complete “the biggest upset in political betting history” after it was announced that the Republican candidate has been elected the 45th President of the United States.

Despite polls suggesting otherwise, the possibility of a victory was indicated last week as his odds were slashed following an FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

For the most part, the Trump victory was a blow to bookmakers. In terms of bets placed, the US election mirrored Brexit in an indisputable fashion. Typically, the larger money was staked on Clinton but there was a higher volume of bets on Trump.

The traditional bookmaking industry (not including online) took an estimated £20m altogether. 74% of the total stake on the outcome was for Hilary Clinton, but 71% of all the individual bets staked were for Donald Trump

William Hill took £4m on the outcome of the US Election – a record total for any political betting event. A spokesperson for the betting operator says: “This campaign absolutely decimated all previous political betting records and shows what a popular betting subject politics is.”

Paddy Power has been left to count the cost of its decision to pay out over $1m early to its customers who backed Hilary Clinton. As well as this, the result stung the betting operator for its biggest political payout ever, paying $4.5m to customers who backed Trump.

Paddy Power spokesperson, Féilim Mac An lomaire comments: “We’re in the business of making predictions and decided to put our neck on the line by paying out early on Hilary Clinton, but boy did we get it wrong.”

Bookmaker Betway are also reporting multiple pay-outs of hundreds of thousands of pounds at big odds. This blow comes after earlier reports suggesting the Trump could be a worse result for bookmakers than Brexit and Leicester winning the league.

A spokesperson for Betway, Alan Alger says: “Our odds fell in line with the polls, keeping Clinton short and luring in just a fistful of big stakes on the Democrat. We were happy to lay the tens and hundreds on Trump at juicy odds and that has hit us hard. Those who went against the experts have collected handsomely.”

Ladbrokes reported a sizeable 75% of individual wagers on the race to the White House were on Trump, while 80% of the money had been for Clinton.

One online customer had wagered £120,000 on Clinton at odds of 1/6 late on Tuesday evening with over 50,000 bets placed across the entire US Election market with Ladbrokes.

Trump was initially chalked up at 150/1 when he first declared his candidacy, smashing Jeremy Corbyns accolade, who once held the 100/1 outsider to become Labour party leader.

Ladbrokes PR representative, Jessica Bridge says: “Betting on political markets continues to soar and spring surprises. It was a busier night than both our General Election and the Brexit vote, easily making it the biggest non-sporting event we have ever witnessed.”

However, not all bookmakers have proved unsuccessful; with Sporting Index reporting Donald Trump’s win could set to result in a six figure profit for the spread betting company.

Political trading spokesman for Sporting Index, Ed Fulton comments: “The most divisive election in history has also proved to be one of the most volatile. While many expected Hilary to walk away with the keys to the White House, we were happy to take her on and that has paid off.”

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