Despite a ban on political betting, US presidential elections attract betting worth $1 billion across the world.

The 2020 US presidential election has invigorated the betting market across the world, as gamblers are placing bets on the two candidates, US president Donald Trump and his rival, the Democrat Joe Biden. 

The total amount wagering on the presidential race between Trump and Biden was estimated to be $1 billion globally, even before polling day.

Matthew Shaddick, head of political betting British firm GVC, said the 2020 election has doubled the 2016 election in terms of the amount of wagers on the race. 

Although Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump surprised polls and bookmakers back in 2016, Joe Biden is now the favourite for GVC's gaming brands, which include Ladbrokes Coral and BWin.

"This is a huge market," Shaddick told AFP. "It is twice as big as 2016, easily making it the biggest political event ever.”

"It might be the biggest ever market on anything pretty much and outstrip football worldwide. I guess a billion pounds ($1.3 billion) is being bet."

In terms of dollar bet, the election has surpassed the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor boxing match in 2017 and the Super Bowl.

London based Betfair, an online gambling company which operates the world's largest online betting exchange, said on Wednesday morning it has taken more than $564 million for the election wagering.

According to the betting company’s spokesman, Sam Rosbottom, the popularity of the election is closely tied to Trump’s "Hollywood factor." 

The US legal wagers are not allowed to hold a bet on the presidential election, but European and offshore companies do offer the opportunity for bettors from around the world.

One such player, for example, placed a £1 million, or a $1.29 million bet on October 29 on Biden to become the next president on Betfair Exchange. This amount marks the world’s largest political bet of all time. 

The unknown bettor would win  $696,170 profit should this come to pass.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gained more ground on President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Georgia and Pennsylvania on Friday, edging closer to the White House hours after Trump claimed the election was being “stolen” from him without offering any proof.

Biden had a 253 to 214 lead in the state-by-state Electoral College vote that determines the winner, according to most major television networks, and was inching toward securing the 270 votes needed to win. AP projected 264 for Biden, calling Arizona for the former vice president, but Trump was narrowing the margin in the state.

Source: TRT World