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Major Online Sportsbook Begins Grading U.S. Election Bets

London-Based BetFair Began Paying Those Who Bet On Joe Biden After The Electoral College Certified His Win Monday


One of the world’s largest online gambling sites has finally started paying out the winning bets it took on the U.S. Presidential Election.

According to a report from Newsweek, the London-based Betfair began grading and paying its election bets Tuesday, a day after the Electoral College members officially cast their ballots, giving former Vice President Joe Biden a 306-232 victory over President Donald Trump.

“The next President market rules stipulated that we would settle the market on the candidate that had the most projected Electoral College votes,” said the company in a statement. “Following the Electoral College votes being cast, that candidate is clearly Joe Biden. Thanks for your patience.”

Shortly after the election, it was reported that most online sportsbooks were delaying payout while the ballots were still being counted. Following a 2016 blunder when Dublin-based Paddy Power paid out those who bet on Hillary Clinton, books were making sure correct payouts were made.

BetFair stated publicly that it would not grade the bets until there was a clear winner. With razor thin margins in several states, counting that went on for days after the election, and a handful of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign contesting the results, the bookmaker opted to wait until it was certified by the Electoral College.

All of Trump’s attempts at a win through the court system had been thrown out at this time. Most recently, the Texas GOP led a lawsuit to contest the results in several key battleground states, all of which were won by Biden. The Supreme Court threw the case out, claiming there wasn’t enough evidence to hear the case.

Just before the election, there was $337 million bet on the election, with $170 million wagered on Biden and $156 million on Trump. The largest bet was a U.K. man who bet $1.29 million on Biden to win.

While American sportsbooks are prohibited to bet on the election, offshore books were taking bets, and many in the poker world were willing to use lines set by the books to wager against one another. According to one report in October, 70% of bets were placed on Biden.