Many will probably assume that the bookmakers made a lot of money on Trump’s surprise election victory. However, whilst more money may have been placed on Clinton, it was actually Trump who received a higher volume of bets. A rather amusing reflection of how the race for the White House actually unfolded. This resulted in many bookmakers being stung by the result. Having allowed themselves to base their odds on the polls, these bookmakers faced some rather colossal pay-outs due to the large volume of Trump back bets.
Whilst comments from William Hill and Ladbrokes, suggest that this was ‘the biggest upset in political betting history’ may be a little over exaggerated, one thing cannot be denied. Betting on politics is becoming increasingly popular and profitable due to bookmakers not keeping up with or believing the growing anti-establishment trend. Many who profited from Trump’s victory are already looking towards betting possibilities surrounding the outcome of Article 50 (Brexit).
Bookmakers are having to play catch up in this market, where traditional betting models are clearly not quite as effective. A good example of this comes in Paddy Power’s decision to pay out early for anyone backing Hillary. The decision backfired spectacularly, with Paddy Power paying out over $1m to those who backed Hillary before the results came in.
In the words of Paddy Power spokesperson, Feilim Mac An Lomaire “We’re in the business of making predictions and decided to put our neck on the line by paying out early on Hillary 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 on Trump. This blow comes after earlier reports suggested that 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.”
Political betting continues to break its own records and is likely to continue doing so as we approach election season in Europe. You can be sure that the bookmakers will be less inclined to base their odds on ‘expert’ analysis. This, in turn, will likely lead to some very interesting odds. First up is the Italian referendum. Whilst it may not draw as much attention at the US election, it will be well worth our time (as Matched Bettors) keeping an eye on these markets for offers, arbing and mug betting opportunities.