As of Wednesday morning, £220 million, or about $284 million, had already been wagered on the Betfair Exchange, said Darren Hughes, a spokesman for Betfair. The London-based company operates the world’s largest online betting exchange.
Betfair is predicting the amount wagered for the US election will ultimately top £400 million.
The betting will continue until a clear winner is announced, said Hughes.
Betfair is one of several exchanges in the UK, though it is the largest, said Watt. Other exchanges and various sports books are also taking bets, which means the amount wagered could be even greater than the £220 million figure, Watt said.
The amount wagered on the US election to date is more than the combined wagering on Betfair for the four most bet-upon sporting events: the 2017 Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor boxing match, the 2018 World Cup, the 2019 Grand National horse race and the 2020 Super Bowl.
In the presidential race, those taking their chances on President Trump are getting much better odds. A £10 bet on the incumbent will return a profit of £18.80 if he wins, versus £5.26 on challenger Joe Biden — essentially giving Trump a 34.8% chance of winning.
Watt said the long odds on Trump are pulling in a lot of people who are betting on the president. Twice as many individual bettors are putting their money on Trump than on Biden, he said — though more money, and larger bets, are being wagered on Biden.
Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris is next with a 14.3% chance based on current odds, followed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with a 5.9% chance, Watt said. After that comes former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley with a 5.3% chance.
And the odds give President Trump — if he loses this year — a 4.8% chance of being elected again in four years. If that happens, he wouldn’t be the first president to serve non-consecutive terms: Grover Cleveland did that as the nation’s 22nd and 24th president.