In the music world perhaps the most exciting prediction you could make for 2016 is that something unpredictable will probably occur.
Tomorrow here in the US the raucous, passionate and unpredictable 2016 U.S. presidential election is on track to notch another distinction: the most wagered-upon political event ever.
With many opinion polls showing a tight race just one day before Tuesday’s election, record numbers of bettors are pouring millions into online platforms from Ireland to Iowa in the hope of capturing a financial windfall from a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
The vast majority of big-dollar political betting occurs outside America. Wagering on elections in the United States is limited by law to relatively small trading platforms connected to universities, which use data from the markets for academic research.
UK-based internet betting exchange Betfair said on Sunday its “Next President” market was set to become the most traded it had ever seen and expected to surpass even Brexit, the contentious UK referendum to leave the European Union.
By Sunday, roughly $130 million had been traded on who will become the next U.S. president, compared with $159 million on the Brexit referendum, Betfair spokeswoman Naomi Totten said. The amount bet so far on the 2016 contest dwarfs the roughly $50 million laid on the 2012 race.
“We think it is because (of) how raw the Brexit (vote) is in people’s minds — they’re not convinced yet that it’s a done deal,” Totten said. Most polls leading into Britain’s June 23 referendum predicted Britons would choose to remain in the EU. Instead, they voted to leave by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin.