Millions Bet Overseas on US Presidential Election

Serious fun with William Hill, bookmaker

by , Nov 8, 2012 | 1:00 pm

After a customer placed a $47,000 wager in a Manchester, England, sports book on President Barack Obama to win re-election today, William Hill was forced to update its odds overseas on the U.S. presidential election.

The updated odds were released Monday as Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, spent their final day on the campaign trail before Election Day.

William Hill shorted Obama’s odds to 2-9, with Romney at 10-3 [the day before the election].

After their final debate in October, the bookmaker trimmed Obama’s odds from 4-9 to 2-5, while Romney was shifted from 7-2 to 15-8.

“With the race to the White House entering the final furlong, political punters appear to believe Obama is beginning to pull clear,” said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Sharpe said there are still some gamblers who think Romney could “snatch victory on the line,” with one of the British bookmaker’s London-based clients putting $39,000 on the Republican challenger.

“Our turnover on the election is into seven figures for the first time, and up to ($15.97 million) will be riding on the outcome industrywide,” Sharpe said.

Other odds on the board include 5-2 that Romney wins the popular vote but Obama wins the election because of the Electoral College, 14-1 Obama wins the popular vote but Romney wins the election.

In some of the swing states, the lines are mixed. In Nevada, Obama is 1-5 to win the Silver State today, while Romney is 10-3; in Florida it’s Romney 1-2, Obama 6-4; and in Ohio, Obama is 2-9, and Romney is 3-1.

And just in case you were thinking about betting on the 2016 presidential race, William Hill has installed Romney as the early favorite at 9-2, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the current candidate for Republican vice president, Paul Ryan, at 7-1.

William Hill owns 159 sports books and kiosks in Nevada, but no wagers on the 2012 presidential election can be taken because the company did not seek regulatory approval to post odds and take bets in Nevada.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.
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