US Presidential Election Odds Shifted with Latest Trump Covid-19 News
- President Trump’s Covid-19 illness has dramatically affected election wagering odds
- Lack of “transparent” info from WH doctors has confused & frustrated oddsmakers
- Historical wagering results from elections have often proven to be unreliable indicators
US President Donald Trump has now publicly had Covid-19 for an announced period since last Friday Of course, how long he has had the serious illness affecting millions remains upon much public debate and mysterious controversy.
While information about his actual status is still unclear and likely to remain unclear, we anxiously await to discover if he’ll make a full recovery and return to providing Joe Biden the recent very close competition for the November 3rd US Presidential election. However, for the many offshore sportsbooks that have continued to offer wagering on the contest, the shift on odds have noticeably changed upon his illness.
Sportsbooks and Election Wagering
From a historical perspective, wagering on political elections and anything deemed “not related to a sports event or athletic contest” has been relegated to offshore sportsbooks as a popular category. Several large offshore books including Bovada, Bookmaker, BetOnline, and others have shared competitive wagering lines akin to any football or basketball game.
Comparing lines among books has reflected many piggybacking close proximities in wanting to achieve even wagering like any other contest. The growth has come offering more proposition wagering or “props” as to which individual states would win electoral votes, popular votes in the election, etc.
Overall, it has been a minor category of interest that has is not likely to achieve legislation to acceptance by any US state in the future. However, it has drawn some jealous interest in that President Trump’s publicity and giant public presence has achieved a record amount of wagering support for books offering the odds.
Sportsbooks Rely on Accurate Info to Determine Proper Odds
Sportsbooks and handicappers determine their selections and often rely on dependable sources for information. Unfortunately, the White House has made such a confusing practice of distributing information regarding President Trump’s current condition that there’s quite little data or trend analysis to feel confident about. It has echoed other practice and press reports from the White House announcing the President’s intentions and next steps.
The difference in interest this time involving this issue is related to some trying to obtain an edge to either make a wager or potentially hedge their bets to wait for another week.
Some have attempted to obtain a clue from White House physician Sean Conley in deciding. However, has been somewhat elusive providing answers about Trump’s medical status. His overall diagnosis has been positive, and his team of assistant doctors has somewhat offered confidence that Trump could return to the White House, leaving current confinement at Walter Reed hospital anytime this week.
Trump himself has invited either controversy or confidence by leaving quarantine over the weekend to greet well-wishers surrounding the hospital in a limousine. Still, that has not had a reverse effect on the worsening odds on his chance to get re-elected next month.
It’s likely been fueled by Conley being pressed to determine Trump’s condition after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told the media that the president’s condition was “very concerning.” Then after that Conley said the current cocktail of drugs Trump is receiving is merely precautionary, Following that, reporters from CNN and other US news networks have interviewed doctors that have stated those drugs and procedures are only offered for serious Covid-19 cases.
Comparison Odds Shift
As a comparison, before the Covid-19 announcement, President Trump and former Vice President Biden were running at almost pick-em to be elected the next US President.
Most offshore sportsbooks had Biden as a slight favorite at approximately -110 to -130 to win the election. Now it seems some have increased those chances to anywhere from -160 to -180 pending this week’s next announcements. Most books have taken wagers off the board until some clarification is possible to secure betting.
Although wagering can be an interesting and somewhat better predictor than actual polls toward determining the outcome of a political race, there should be a huge measure of caution. Going back to only 2016 offers the best example.
Trump pulled off one of the biggest upsets in history back then and the stunning odds reflecting it. As a bettor, if you believed in him and took a chance you were rewarded with odds as high as 5-1 (+500) at some online locations. Again, that history reinforced all US legislators to not back any efforts to include political wagering into their plans.
In this case, we all stand by for as they call it now “transparent” information before we can report anything further.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.