Almost All Last-Minute Bets Are for Trump, Paddy Power Says
In the betting markets at least, Donald Trump is crushing Hillary Clinton.
So far this week, the Republican candidate has outshone his rival in terms of both the number and volume of wagers, according to figures revealed yesterday by Ireland’s largest bookmaker, Paddy Power Betfair Plc. Just shy of 100,000 euros ($111,000) in bets came in, with 91 percent of them for Trump.
“This election’s been a serious betting anomaly,” said Féilim Mac An Iomaire, a spokesman for the company. Even before Oct. 28, when FBI Director James Comey announced the discovery of new e-mails he deemed “pertinent” to a closed probe of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, money placed on a Trump victory amounted to almost the same as that bet on his rival, despite her lead in opinion polls.
“You don’t normally see so much placed on the outside candidate but I think the shock of Brexit is fresh in people’s minds,” Mac An Iomaire said. The S&P 500 is on track for its longest losing streak since 2011 as market participants fret about a possible Trump Presidency.
The U.K.’s June referendum bruised professional pollsters by dealing an unexpected blow to the status quo. But another lesson from that vote is that betting flows aren’t a foolproof indicator, since bookies reported a last minute surge in bets that the U.K. electorate would choose to remain in the European Union. The next day, the “Leave” camp emerged triumphant.
Still, bookmaker data appear to be echoing moves in financial markets, with the Mexican peso, Credit Suisse AG’s “ultimate market indicator,” weakening more than 3 percent since Comey’s letter.
The probability of a Trump victory implied by offshore betting odds are now at 28.5 percent, according to Convergex Market Strategist Nicholas Colas. That’s roughly the same as flipping a coin and getting heads twice in a row, and matches estimates by professional polling analysts.
For Paddy Power, which reports third-quarter earnings on Friday, the stakes are higher than most. The company announced it would start paying out on a Clinton victory in mid-October, having initially offered a Trump presidency at 100 to 1.