Bets Coming in Fast on Donald Trump, British Bookmaker William Hill Says

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LONDON--The odds on Hillary Clinton being elected President of the United States are dropping fast, according to a British online sportsbook that is booking wagers on the U.S. presidential election.

Graham Sharpe, media relations director for sportsbook William Hill (www.williamhill.co.uk), told Gambling 911 in an interview Thursday that Clinton's odds of winning are falling like a rock while the odds of her opponent, Donald Trump, are rising like yeast.

"On October 15, we were offering 1-9 odds on Hillary Clinton (wager $9 to win $1) and 11-2 odds on Donald Trump (wager $2 to win $11)," Sharpe said. "This evening, we are at 4-9 for Hillary Clinton and 7-4 for Donald Trump. A gentleman walked into one of our betting shops tonight and staked 15,000 British pounds (a pound equals $1.25 in U.S. money) on Trump. He returned shortly after and staked a further 22,000 pounds on him.

"In recent days, individual bets have been predominantly for Trump," Sharpe continued. "Since day one, some two-thirds of bets for Clinton or Trump have been for the latter. However, the greater volume of money has been for Clinton."

Sharpe noted that the longest odds William Hill had offered on Trump were 150-1, while the longest odds for Clinton had been 4-1.

As for his personal prediction on the U.S. presidential election, Sharpe compared the race to the recent election in the United Kingdom over whether the U.K. should leave the European Union or E.U., a political and financial union of more than a dozen European nations.

The U.K. election was dubbed "Brexit," short for British exit, and voters voted narrowly (52% to 48%) for the U.K. to leave the E.U.

"I see similarities between the U.S. presidential election and the Brexit campaign here, where the media and political sophisticates urged people to vote remain," Sharpe said. "If anything, that convinced many ordinary people that they were tired of being told what to do by the establishment and Brexit won. Trump could win by the same route."

One of William Hill's competitors that is also booking the U.S. presidential election, Irish online sportsbook Paddy Power (www.paddypower.com), recently made news by announcing that it was already paying out bettors who had wagered on Clinton to win the election, even though the election was still days away.

Sharpe said that's a publicity stunt and that William Hill does not do that.

"Paying out early is usually a sign of a company which has not taken much business and is looking for a cheap, pointless stunt," Sharpe said. "If Clinton wins, winners will still be paid anyway. In the event the result goes the other way, it hasn't cost them much to get some publicity they cannot get in any other way."

In addition to offering a wager on who will win the U.S. presidential election, William Hill is offering a variety of wagers that are comparable to the "prop" bets or proposition wagers that are offered by Nevada sportsbooks for the Super Bowl.

"We are offering betting on the voting outcome in every individual state," Sharpe said. "Also, on how many states each candidate will win and the margin of victory in each state. You can even make a futures bet on whether the winner this time will do so next time as well."

Sharpe was asked how much interest there actually is in London on wagering on the American presidential election.

"American cannot bet in the States on their own election, oddly enough, but there are many ex-pat Americans in Britain who take the opportunity to do so," Sharpe said. "It is also of great interest to many Brits who follow the action on television and want to get involved by betting.

"We have taken some hefty bets," he continued. "We took a bet of 550,000 euros (a euro is approximately equal to a U.S. dollar) from a 46-year-old female on Hillary Clinton. We also took a bet of 183,200 pounds from another female in her forties, also on Hillary. And one man made 30 bets on Trump for a total of 100,000 pounds."

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Staff Writer


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