Online sportsbetting provider Paddy Power Betfair has revealed that it stands to lose around $3.28 million after Republican nominee Donald Trump unexpectedly won yesterday’s nationwide election to become the 45th President of the United States.
According to a report from CNN, the Dublin-based firm revealed that roughly a dozen gamblers had placed “five-figure bets” as voters went to the polls on Tuesday with Trump’s odds of winning standing as high as 15/4 while Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton’s were a much slimmer 9/50.
“You could say it is deja-vu again,” Feilim Mac An Iomaire from Paddy Power Betfair told The Irish Independent newspaper. “Much like “Brexit”, it looked to be following the odds early on before a dramatic turnaround.”
CNN also reported that one woman had staked $608,000 online with fellow bookmaker William Hill on Clinton winning the contest and stood to make a profit of $243,000 while Ladbrokes expects to pay out $74,630 to a pair of punters that had each placed bets of $248 on underdog Trump winning the race earlier in the trial.
Ladbrokes explained that its online service had handled up to 35 wagers per minute on the contest from British bettors while CNN moreover reported that the industry as a whole saw approximately $186 million staked on the outcome. If this figure is correct, it would make the 2016 Presidential election the biggest non-sporting event ever handled by United Kingdom-facing sportsbetting sites, easily eclipsing last summer’s “Brexit” referendum and predictions for the name of the royal baby in 2014.
“Trump’s celebrity status has drawn interest from people who would have never bet on our political markets before,” Mac An Iomaire told CNN before the election result was known. “Paddy Power will be on the receiving end of its worst political result in history if Trump does manage to upset the odds.”
Paddy Power Betfair made headlines last month after agreeing to pay out $1 million to customers that had gambled on Clinton winning the election. At the time it explained that the odds were so firmly in her favor that it wanted to get out of the bet but it subsequently continued to accept more wagers.