Aussie Bookies Nervous of Trump Re-election
Bookmakers in Australia are terribly exposed to a Trump re-election next week as the United States goes to the ballot box to vote on the nation’s biggest office. Speaking this week to local media, Sportsbet and Ladbrokes CEOs both explained how the betting momentum has gone on their systems, both explained their companies stand to lose tens of millions should the incumbent president remain in office.
Next week is already a massive week in the calendar for Australia’s sportsbooks. The Melbourne Cup horse racing event which takes place annually is due to begin on November 3rd. The event is the most famous horse racing meeting on the calendar, taking place over the 3,200 meters track at Flemington Racecourse. The highly lucrative race has a total prize pool of $8 million and attracts an enormous betting volume throughout the day.
But it won’t be the Melbourne Cup next Tuesday that will be the main focus of Australia’s sportsbooks. The focus will be on another race taking place on the opposite side of the world just a few hours later. Australia’s bookmakers are reportedly terribly exposed to a Trump victory, accepting a huge amount of bets on the incumbent retaining his seat. The total exposure is reportedly in the low-eight-figures.
Unusually so for this time of year, the Melbourne Cup has been far outstripped in terms of gross betting volume by the election. Sportsbet CEO Barni Evans and Ladbrokes Australia CEO Dean Shannon both made clear that their respective firms stand to lose tens of millions of dollars if Trump wins. Other big Australian operators including Tabcorp would not comment on the exact level of risk, but it is predicted to be equally as large.
US Election Taking More Bets Than AFL and NRL Grand Finals
The interest in betting on this election is so intense across Australia, which given how consequential it is on a macro scale, is not entirely surprising. Bookmakers have already reported that the election is breaking previous volume records set by the incredibly popular domestic sports finals in the AFL and NRL.
This volume is truly staggering and over the weeks leading up to voting day one bookmaker, Betfair, said that on its exchange they had received over $400 million in matched bets in for the Trump versus Biden contest. That figure is expected to treble as the markets draw to a close on the morning of November 3rd.
With polling data, public opinion, and most global media already anticipating a loss for President Trump, it is not a surprise that Trump is a firm outsider in the betting markets. The Republican party is hovering around 2.6 with the Democrats being as short as 1.52. Over the past months, both candidates have fluctuated wildly. Trump, though, is no stranger to being an outsider and faces similar odds to his contest against Hilary Clinton four years ago.
Dizzying Betting Behavior Across Australia
The fascinating insights of two of the country’s biggest betting site CEOs continue as they discuss some other statistics of the previous few weeks’ wagering activities. Usually this time of year the Melbourne Cup becomes a make or break moment for the overall financial performance of the year.
But as Dean Shannon the CEO of Ladbrokes Australia explained, his company has been incredibly surprised by the intensity and popularity of the betting activity on the election. Not only has the throughput of bets been surprising with record numbers being placed, but also the size. Far more bets of $50,000 or greater have reportedly been placed than on any horse in the Melbourne Cup.
It is by any account one of the biggest single betting events ever witnessed in Australia. With enormous proportions of customers backing a Trump victory, many analysts are left perplexed as all the data seems to be pointing towards a comfortable victory for the sitting President of the United States. Despite this rhetoric, many betting companies are reporting that they are hardly taking any bets on a Biden victory.
92 Percent of Aussie Bets on Trump
Painting a vivid picture of the current balance of Australian betting on the upcoming election, Sportsbet CEO Barni Evans, said that 92 percent of bets placed on his platform was backing a Trump victory at the ballot.
In terms of the scale of this event, it is reportedly already exceeded the total amount of betting revenue in the 2019 Melbourne Cup, which was Australia’s largest ever betting event according to statisticians. Based on current forecasting and betting data the total amount placed on the 2020 US Election will be five or six times greater than the amount placed on the 2016 US Election.
As if you didn’t know by now, but the next 48 hours stand to be huge in terms of geopolitical significance and for the financial stability of Australian betting firms. A Trump victory could set in motion a series of financial hits that damage some of the nation’s biggest bookmakers beyond repair.