Sportsbooks are as split as the US electorate on what to do about Donald Trump after the American presidential election was called on Saturday for former Vice President Joe Biden. With the 45th President refusing to concede, and Trump campaign operatives promising lawsuits to contest election results, some bettors have been left in limbo, wondering when they will get paid.

betfred biden
Bookmaker Fred Done (right) declared that he sees no point in withholding payments from punters who bet on Biden. (Image: Twitter/Betfred)

Even though no US-based sportsbooks offer legal election betting, the 2020 US presidential election turned out to be the biggest single gambling event in history. More than $1 billion dollars was wagered on Biden vs. Trump, with wild fluctuations in the immediate hours after the polls closed, generating millions more in action.

Last week’s election hype crashed New Zealand-based online market prediction service PredictIt, and early returns for Trump even began to crash global markets.

On Saturday morning, as mail-in votes tilted the final result in Biden’s favor, betting markets adjusted accordingly. Just hours before the vote was called, UK bookmaker William Hill had Biden at a 93.3% chance of winning. Betfair, which reported more than $650 million wagered, had its last posted odds with Biden at 92.3%.

Some Sportsbooks Jump at Chance to Pay Biden Winners

While several books are waiting for Biden’s victory to become more official, some are choosing to ignore Trump’s attempts to undo the election results.

Australia-based Sportsbet was the first known to make bettors whole as they tweeted out an early payout on Nov. 4, reporting they’d paid out more than 100,000 bets on Biden, totaling almost $23 million.

The company paid out as soon as Biden was declared the winner in Michigan and Arizona, giving him just 264 of the 270 electoral votes needed to lock up the presidency. In the days that followed, Biden’s blue checkmark stuck in Michigan while votes were still being counted in Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina.

English sportsbook Betfred was likewise convinced the results would stick, and paid out winners despite the Trump campaign’s claims of voter fraud.

“In Fred Done’s book, it’s officially over,” Done says in his promotional news show. “It’s your money. Go and get paid.”

British site BetVictor also paid out Biden bettors on Saturday, declaring that any legal challenge to the result will not count, as per their betting rules.

Settling Election Bets Early Carries Risk

Ireland-based Paddy Power knows the sting of paying out bets too early. In 2016, the sportsbook prematurely paid out on a Hillary Clinton victory and took a $5 million bath as a result

Paddy Power is still taking bets on the outcome of the 2020 election — which they say they will settle after all recounts are complete and legal challenges resolved — with Biden at -5000 and Trump at +1600.

“We haven’t shut up shop,” Paddy Power head of PR Lee Price told Covers. “We expect this situation to rumble on.”

Paddy Power also offered a new line over the weekend: “When will Donald Trump publicly concede?” That bet is paying 1/3 for after November 13 or never, and 2/1 for before then.

Paddy Power and SportsBet are owned by Flutter Entertainment, which also owns Pokerstars, Sky Bet, FOX Bet, TVG, Adjarabet, and FanDuel.

Other Bookmakers Await Further Results

Betfair isn’t yet willing to consider the election a done deal.

In a statement issued Saturday, after the election was called for Biden, Betfair explained how they are seeking more certainty before paying out.

“We will only settle the markets when there is certainty around which candidate has the most projected Electoral College votes,” the Betfair statement read. “Before settling the markets, we must therefore wait for clarity around ongoing vote counts, recounts, and any potential legal challenges to the results.”

Bovada took a similar wait-and-see approach, saying in a tweet Saturday night that they plan to settle election bets either after Trump concedes or when legal challenges are exhausted and it appears impossible that he can collect 270 Electoral College votes.

The odds page for the election on Bovada is currently empty.

MyBookie is waiting for states to certify their election results before they pay any US presidential election bets. They also rejected the request of one Trump bettor to settle for half his money back should revelations of voter fraud nullify his wager. MyBookie declined the settlement offer and noted they would not be refunding Trump bets.

Also holding out is 888sport, which claims to be seeking clarity on automatic recounts.

“Unfortunately, we still cannot settle the bets on US Elections,” the official 888sport Twitter account said. “We’ll need to wait until we have clarity on the automatic recount threshold in some states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. We’ll settle the bets as soon as we’re done clarifying this.”


Unsettled? Which Sportsbooks Have Paid Out on US Election Bets

  • 888sport – Awaiting recount results
  • Bet365 – Paid Biden winners
  • Betfair – Awaiting further results
  • Betfred – Paid Biden winners
  • BetVictor – Paid Biden winners
  • Bovada – Awaiting certification of results
  • Ladbrokes – Awaiting legal challenges to be resolved
  • MyBookie – Awaiting certification of results
  • PaddyPower – Still taking bets, awaiting legal challenges to be resolved
  • Predictit – Still taking bets, awaiting legal challenges to be resolved
  • Smarkets – Paid Biden winners
  • Sportsbet – Paid Biden winners
  • William Hill – Awaiting further results

Officially, Dec. 8 is the deadline for resolving all election disputes at the state level, including recounts and legal challenges.

Deadlines for the Electoral College to submit certification paperwork follow on Dec. 14 and Dec. 23. On Jan. 6, 2021, the US House and Senate hold a joint session to count the electoral votes and declare a winner.

Comments

  1. I placed a very small bet on Biden at Mybookie. They stated “These bets on U.S Politics will be graded once official results are published as of now, these bets are still pending.”
    My response “Ok, so it’s not true that mybookie is paying out that I’ve read. Trump bets have been lost already.”

    If mybookie isn’t paying my tiny bet, they aren’t paying Biden bets.

  2. Thanks, Rob! We doublechecked with MyBookie and indeed you are correct — they are NOT paying Biden bettors until individual states certify results. We’ve made a correction.

  3. 888 sport has canacled bets on trump, could you follow up on that? I beleive the results are so contested that there is now reasonable doubt of the outcome.

  4. My question is whether or not any booking sites are *now* taking bets on whether or not Biden is sworn in on January 20, 2021. Trump is challenging some election results in state and federal courts, claiming that there will be enough fraudulent votes to put him over the top. Though a very long shot, I wonder if any bookmakers are accepting bets on it?

  5. Quite frankly, I truly feel the Casino Firms that paid out “Biden” winners is the one great indicator of credibility when choosing where to play. As players, we still must face the reality that, despite SPORTSBOOKS (most of which are Online & overseas with their own jurisdiction) having much more reputable credibility than normal online casinos from various areas & islands that gamblers repeatedly get defrauded & are never paid out, it is important to remember a RISK definitely always exists. This is especially true with those SPORTSBOOKS that appear to never have reviews in forums such as these & claim Grand Openings or a subsidiary of a well known Casino.
    YET, THE CRITICAL FACTOR IS ALWAYS WHOM HAS “CONTROL” WITHOUT ANY OVERSIGHT.
    The answer is nearly every one mentioned. So when BETNOW.EU paid me immediately on the Biden win it did create a feeling of peace of mind, thus I continuing to wager with them. However, a firm like BOVADA.LV surprised me by holding onto that money, particularly since BOVADA is a Top 3 ranked Sportsbook. Yet, I have learned they tend to do things that would surprise gamblers of such a high ranking….Just be careful out there folks!!!!

  6. I’m not on board with this post. Your reasonings are spot on, but conversely it’s impossible to depend upon what other people may believe. Please write more about this, because I believe you’re an excellent blogger and I want to see more from you!

  7. Pinnicle has not settled my bet. When I contacted their customer support asking when the bet will be settled, the response I received was:

    “We hope to settle many markets soon. We are tracking all developments closely and will settle when we feel it’s prudent. Unfortunately, there is no timeline.​”

  8. Thanks for this intel, it’s super-helpful!! We’re still tracking who has paid and who hasn’t and increasingly the holdouts seem to have fewer and fewer excuses. That said, it also seems like markets are still active and oddsmakers don’t seem to want to cut off that action just yet :/ Stay tuned!

  9. This was a 100% RIGGED ELECTION. Trump.won in a LANDSLIDE. He won SO BIG, the scam artist DemonRats SHUT DOWN ALL.COUNTING, PRETENDED to not count till tomorrow, waited till Republican poll watchers went home, and then brought in hundreds of thousands of fraudulent ballots to catch up. (Dominion scam systems couldn’t keep up with Trumps votes) Once the dementia patient was “ahead,” he stayed ahead IN EVERY STATE by a fixed margin of 50.9% to 49.1%. A 100% IMPOSSIBILITY. The Repubs raided a server in Frankfurt, and have all the evidence. They have also released the Kracken, which is the Special.Ops computer program from.the 305 squadron. There are supposedly “rendition flights” currently underway, with DemonRats getting threatened with torture or being charged with treason of they don’t want to cooperate. Supposedly the head of the CIA already flipped. Rumour has it Biden might be ready to concede for immunity. 100% RIGGED election. ALL the math geniuses say so. I’ve studied is for 80 hours. Don’t even try to fight me. So these sites that took your money are SCAM artists. FAKE BALLOTS don’t count.

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