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Presidential election betting breaks record for handle

The U.S. presidential election has officially become the most heavily bet event in the history of the United Kingdom-based Betfair Exchange, the company said in a release.

A total of about $259 million in bets have been placed on the matchup between President Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate.

The handle breaks the record $258 million bet on the 2016 presidential election between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Betfair predicts that as much as $519 million could be bet on the election by Tuesday.

Biden is a -200 favorite to win the election at Betfair (Trump +200).

Betting favorites are expressed with a minus sign and underdogs with a plus sign. In this case, a bettor would have to bet $200 to win $100 on Biden or $100 to win $200 on Trump.

Professional political gambler and Betfair election expert Paul Krishnamurty said Trump’s popularity has driven the increased handle.

“It’s all about him,” he said. “Outside of America, Joe Biden is known at one-hundredth of the scale as Trump. Trump drives interest in betting. The amount bet has risen six-fold after he came into politics.”

Also, South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro announced his updated price on the election, with Biden a -240 favorite (Trump +220).

If Biden wins, running mate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is +800 to replace Biden as the president before the 2024 election, Vaccaro said.

Vaccaro’s odds are for entertainment purposes only. Betting on elections is illegal in the U.S.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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