For the time being, all the polls seem to be going Joe Biden’s way ahead of the November 3 presidential election. But gamblers see a different reality and are putting their money on Donald Trump.
The Republican incumbent, who is seeking a second term, has slowly climbed back since late July to nearly even with the Democratic former vice president.
For some Australian and British bookmakers, Trump is the odds-on favorite.
Betting on national or local elections is illegal in the United States. All the action is happening on foreign gambling sites—which Americans can sometimes access.
A $100 wager on a Trump win today could bring the punter a return of $190 if he notches the victory.
“There is no doubt that the momentum appears to have swung back into President Trump’s favor,” said Rupert Adams, a spokesman for British bookmaker William Hill, which has already accepted more than $1.3 million in election bets.
Lee Price, a spokesman for Irish gambling brand Paddy Power, explains that after a slowdown in betting activity due to the coronavirus crisis, interest has “started to pick up again in recent weeks.”
“We think the Trump factor is sure to keep punters interested,” Price told AFP.
Many who have placed their bets on Trump now are hoping for a repeat of 2016, when the Manhattan real estate mogul staged a stunning comeback against Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton to win the White House.
British bookmaker Betfair has taken in $13.3 million in bets on the White House race since August 23, on the eve of the Republican nominating convention.
Nick Freiling, the CEO of a market research firm, who bet $300 on a Trump victory in traditionally Democratic Minnesota, says it’s normal for the gap between the candidates to narrow as November approaches.
The coronavirus crisis is another major factor, he said – Trump faced sharp criticism for his handling of the pandemic, but the issue “is steadily falling out of our public consciousness, and people are less angry about things, generally.”
For Freiling, “the polls may be of ‘likely voters’ and show Biden winning. But what about voters’ enthusiasm for their candidate (which correlates with turnout)? Trump is winning that battle by huge margins.”
“Watch where the money goes,” Collins said, predicting that Trump will dominate his three debates with Biden. “That’s what people really care about.”