Politics 2020 Election Set to Be Biggest Betting Event of All Time With $200m Pledged
Rights group: Scores detained during protests in Belarus
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Scores of people were detained in Belarus on Sunday during protests against the country’s authoritarian leader, who won his sixth term in office in a vote widely seen as rigged, a Belarusian rights group said. Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in the Belarusian capital Minsk for the 10th consecutive Sunday, demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has run the country with an iron fist for 26 years. The Viasna human rights center estimated that around 100,000 people took part in the protest, which the police moved to disperse with water cannons, stun grenades and truncheons.
The 2020 US election is set to be the biggest-ever betting event with wagers worth close to $400m expected by November 3, according to a leading UK bookmaker.
Nearly $200m has already been spent with betting provider Betfair expecting tens of millions of dollars still to come in with less than two weeks until Election Day.
The bookmaker said a record £300m ($392m at Wednesday's exchange rate) could be bet on the 2020 election result, with the total staked on the Betfair Exchange reaching £150m overnight—double the £75m at this stage of the campaign in 2016, when a record total of £199m was bet.
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Several battleground states – some accustomed to mail-voting and others that start processing absentee ballots early – are expected to have a substantial number of votes counted on election night.But the country could get major clues on election night even as counting continues in some key states.
In 2016, £75m was bet once polls closed, suggesting much of the activity is likely to come in the latter stages of the race.
Pundits rely on betting markets in the UK and elsewhere as political gambling is banned in the U.S.
Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: "With the amount bet on the 2020 US election on Betfair Exchange reaching £150m overnight, the betting trends indicate that £300m or more will be bet on who will win.
"The current total bet is double the £75m staked at this stage four years ago, which means the 2020 election is on-course to become the biggest single betting event of all time by eclipsing 2016's £199m.
"Whilst more money has been bet on Donald Trump, it could be telling that the ten biggest stakes are all on Joe Biden."
Why the pandemic election will be unlike any other
This year's general election is shaping up to be one for the history books, between anticipated mail-in ballot records, safety precautions and more. State and local election officials have been gearing up for this most unusual election cycle for months. With early voting already underway in all 50 states, here's what voters can expect leading up to Nov. 3, and beyond.
£78m has so far been bet on Trump and £68m has been bet on Biden. Multiple bets worth more than $100,000 have been placed on Biden winning the presidency in recent days, with the largest single bet of the campaign—£156,961 on September 27—backing the Democratic nominee.
None of the ten biggest bets on the 2020 US presidential election have backed the incumbent president to win again, Betfair data showed.
The biggest bet in the 2016 election came in for Clinton with £135,317 wagered.
Professional political gambler and Betfair election expert Paul Krishnamurty said: "Trump supporters are true believers like no other previous candidate and that extends to every aspect of what he does in politics—but it also influences the betting.
"Trump is much better known than Biden in Britain and he engages people like nobody else whether positive or negative. He's driven money into the bettings markets due to his huge appeal as the great underdog candidate that pulled off one of the fairy-tale upsets of all time in 2016."
7 days from Election Day -- Here's what we know about who's voted so far in key states .
One week from Election Day, early voters so far are younger, more racially diverse and more likely to be Democrats than they were ahead of the 2016 election in many of the key states that could decide the next president. © Joe Raedle/Getty Images DORAL, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 14: I voted stickers are seen as people drop off their Vote-by Mail ballots at the Miami-Dade Election Department headquarters on October 14, 2020 in Doral, Florida. More than 1.9 million Floridians had voted by mail according to statistics posted online by the Florida Division of Elections.