With all the controversy around the elections in the US, it comes as no surprise that bookies would not want to payout on any bets. Since the results are being contested by Trump's people, who are not prepared to accept the results, wagers have not been paid out on any of the bets placed in favour of either of the candidates.
Gambling on politics, in theory, is illegal in the United States, however, in NZ, PredictIt which initially started as a research organisation, based at the Victoria University of Wellington, managed to obtain an exemption from the Commodity Future Trading Commission and has transformed itself into a market trading one. Because of the disputes that are still raging in America regarding the elections and the ongoing legal case, rough by Trump's party, many betting companies are not paying out on bets, in fact, some are still taking on bets as the results keep changing.
PredictIt’s platform could not handle the amount of interest shown by the bettors, especially when it seemed as though Trump, who was initially not seen as a threat, started gaining support and it seemed as though he could retain the Presidency. The 117 million shares that were being traded, in comparison to the 47 million from2016, when Trump was contesting Hillary Clinton, was so much for the platform, that it crashed under the influx of bets.
In London, Betfair, a betting exchange concern, experienced similar chaos, when it on the first day of the elections had to deal with an astronomical amount of bets, totalling in the region of $400million. By the next day, the amount had increased to $600 million, compared to the $258 million in the previous election.Betfair took on a bet of $1.32. million, from an anonymous bettor, in favour of Biden, who will be paid out $2million, if all goes well.
In 2016, an Irish bookmarker called Paddy Power, paid out $1 million prematurely in favour of Hillary Clinton, a decision that impacted negatively on the gambling company. In light of this, both Betfair and PredictIt, have opted to hold off on any payouts until the results have been released and are clear as to which candidate will be in office. If the legal proceedings are anything to go by, the payouts may only happen in a few weeks or even months from now.