Saturday, 28 November 2020


Some news last night regarding the Billion Pound Betfair "Next President" market, with Betfair essentially announcing that they are now no longer settling the market based on their rules.

Naming the market "Next President" may be the root of the issue, because it is actually a misnomer since, per the rules of the market, the bet is actually for "Who will be elected to be the next President of the United States of America as a result of the 2020 presidential election?"

Reading the Betfair Forum, it's clear that at least some people investing in this market thought they were betting on the actual Next President, and not on the '2020 presidential election' winner. 

Betfair's rules also clarify that "This market will be settled according to the candidate that has the most projected Electoral College votes won at the 2020 presidential election. Any subsequent events such as a ‘faithless elector’ will have no effect on the settlement of this market."

The projected Electoral College vote count is 306 (Biden) to 232 (Trump), so why haven't Betfair settled the market? 

Well, only they know for sure, but clearly by their own rules, they should have settled by now.

The Trump campaign's continued efforts in the courts are a "subsequent event" as key states such as Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania have already certified their results, yet those markets remain unsettled. 

The Trump campaign has no evidence to support their sweeping claims of voter fraud and with election day almost four weeks ago now, it seems unlikely that any evidence will come to light in the future, but logic and common sense don't seem to be an attribute found among Trump's lawyers or his supporters. It's all a show for his base (64% of uneducated whites) as Trump fights to keep his fast sputtering "populist" movement alive. 

I suspect the reason that the Betfair markets remain open for some states, including the certified states listed above, is that were they to settle these markets, they would have no reason to not settle the "Next President" market which, at the time of writing, has lots of money available to back Trump at 19 and Biden at 1.05, and there is commission to be had. 

Betfair's latest statement reads:
A statement that clearly contradicts their rule about "subsequent events" not having any effect on market settlement, and wouldn't it have been better to consult these "leading U.S. lawyers" while setting up the market rather than 24 days after the polls have closed? And since "subsequent events" have no effect on settlement of the market, couldn't U.K. lawyers have given an answer?  

It's all rather poor from Betfair, and while waiting a couple more weeks isn't a big deal for me personally, I imagine that for many, it is a big deal. There is no way that this market can be settled as a Trump win (given their rules) and the chances they void a billion pound market are nil, so basically they are taking advantage of the uneducated Trump supporter (sadly, there are a lot of them) who, based on their "news" sources think he has a legitimate chance at being the "Next President". He doesn't. The market should be settled now. 

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