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November 2012

William Hill Reports Huge US Presidential Betting Action

by Renee Israel

Millions Spent by Britons on US Elections

The results of the US Presidential elections are in and, as expected, Barack Obama will remain in the White House for another four years.

The US elections attracted plenty of betting action among Britons, with a clear rise in the total spent on these markets compared with the last elections four years ago. It is believed that the rise in the availability of internet gambling, and the growing number of people who own smartphones - which enable them to wager via mobile devices - has led to a rise in US presidential bets.

UK bookmakers took in around £10 million in betting action during the US elections, according to Graham Sharpe, a spokesperson for UK bookmaker, William Hill.

Will Hill took in around £1 million of that - the biggest action it has seen for a presidential election.

Romney Loss Bad News for Bookies in UK

In the last 24 hours of the election, British punters increased their support for Barack Obama over his rival Mitt Romney, which spelt bad news for UK bookies.

This increased popularity in Obama continued until the very end, despite the fact that bookies shifted their lines to attract more betting action on Romney.

Before the results were out, Sharpe noted: "If Obama wins, it will be a losing night. We would like to take more Romney money to balance our book."

A number of big bets were placed through William Hill in the last day of the presidential elections, including one for $30,000 on Obama, and another for £30,000. Romney also had his supporters, with a £20,000 flutter placed on him being the victor in the elections. No doubt, the person who placed that bet is now kicking himself.

Obama Constant Favourite at UK Bookies

Towards the end, odds were 1/4 for Obama and 3/1 for Mitt Romney to win.

"If this were a horse race, the pundits are predicting a photo finish," said Sharpe before the results were out. "But we see Mr. Obama drawing clear in the final furlong."

Since markets opened on the 2012 presidential elections, Obama has been a favourite to win at UK bookies such as William Hill. Those who placed their bets a year ago enjoyed the longest odds and are certainly reaping the benefits of their punts right now. According to Sharpe, Romney was never a favourite to win during the Will Hill presidential betting.

Obama's popularity increased across the nation and at bookmaker sites in the week leading up to the elections, partly due to his successful handling of Hurricane Sandy.

Story Highlights »
  • Popularity of smartphones increased mobile betting on US elections.
  • Big bets placed on Obama and Romney.

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