How Boris and Trump are inspiring political betting fever

How Boris and Trump are inspiring political betting fever

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 Totally Gaming
William Hill are expecting more than £20m to be wagered on the US election and UK referendum

Big personalities could cause 2016 to be a landslide year for political betting, according to William Hill media relations director Graham Sharpe.

The bookmaker said it expects that gambling on the outcome of the European Union (EU) referendum will outstrip the £10m (€12.8m/$14.1m) wagered on the Scottish Referendum of 2014 to make it the biggest political betting event of all time.

Sharpe told that the celebrity factor has been apparent, with money wagered on the ‘Leave’ option propelled in the last few days by the announcement that London Mayor Boris Johnson will campaign for ‘Brexit’.

Sharpe said that an eight-figure sum is also expected on the US Presidential election in November, with big names Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton now expected to be the two candidates.

“The bigger the names, the bigger the interest - as we have just seen over here with Boris Johnson entering the EU Referendum debate,” said Sharpe.

“There is no doubt that Donald Trump's presence has boosted betting interest to the point where he is currently by far the worst potential result for us. From a business point of view we'd love him to be the candidate, but might prefer that he didn't actually win. Mind you, we also may have a lot of winning bets to pay out to people who have bet that there will be a female US President before 2025!”

Since UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced the date of the EU referendum over the weekend, some 88 per cent of bets placed on the issue have been for the 'Leave' option, compared to 71 per cent previously. Hills said that 74.9 per cent of all the bets so far struck on the outcome of the EU referendum, and 64.7 per cent of the money gambled, have been for the 'Leave' option.

“Mr Cameron may see the referendum as a big gamble, but bookies will see it as perhaps the biggest ever political gamble,” said Sharpe. “During the Scottish referendum, one of our clients staked a world record political wager of £900,000 and called it right, collecting a payout of £1.09m - the client is still considering whether to make another hefty wager on the outcome of the EU referendum.”

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