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Online Sportsbooks Yet To Pay Out Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars In Election Bets

A Possible Legal Battle And Lack Of Concession Led To Online Sportsbooks Delaying Payouts

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President Donald Trump has yet to concede the election to former Vice President Joe Biden. And neither have the sportsbooks.

According to a New York Post report, online sportsbooks around the world have yet to grade betting slips and pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to those who wagered on this year’s presidential election.

Since it is illegal to for an American sportsbook to accept wagers on a U.S. election, these wagers are confined to unregulated online sites and foreign-based operations. Betfair, a large gambling company based in London, owes $600 million to its bettors assuming Biden takes the office in January.

Adam Burns, the sportsbook manager for BetOnline told the Post that the election was one of the most heavily bet-on events of the year.

“The presidential election was bigger than the Super Bowl,” said Burns. “We kept taking action, with fluctuating odds for a few days after the election. But now the bet is [no longer available] and we’re hoping for an official decision.”

After several days of counting votes in a tight race, several media outlets declared Biden the winner. Trump has since made several claims of voter fraud and a rigged election, while his legal team has made moves to fight the results in court.

With the lack of a concession and a possible legal battle in the making, the sportsbooks are hesitant to pay out the funds until there is a clear-cut winner.

The books are possibly learning from past mistakes. In 2016, the Dublin-based sportsbook Paddy Power paid those who bet on Hillary Clinton nearly a month before the election results after polls were overwhelmingly in the Democrats’ favor. The book paid out $1 million but was forced to fork over another $3.5 million to those who bet the other side after Trump won the election.

Many poker players will be eagerly awaiting these payouts as the betting world was wagering heavily on Biden to win.