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Bettors stampede back in favour of Biden as results stream in (Update)

Reuters

Democratic candidate Joe Biden was back as clear favourite to win the US presidential election in online betting markets on Wednesday morning, a reversal of fortune for President Donald Trump who had been favored overnight.

The shift, according to data from three odds aggregators, came after Biden overtook Trump in the battleground state of Wisconsin, with an estimated 89% of the vote tallied there.

British-based Smarkets exchange was giving Biden a 78% chance, while New Zealand-based predictions market PredictIt had Biden at nearly 80%. Trump’s chances on Smarkets were sitting at 21% – a massive drop from nearly 80% overnight.

“Taking the lead in Wisconsin could be the turning point with the Democrat now also projected to win Nevada and Arizona, which would likely give him the 270 electoral college votes he needs for victory,” Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said.

Bettors on Betfair were giving Biden a 66% chance to win by breakfast time on the East Coast.

Trump earlier falsely claimed victory over Biden with millions of votes still uncounted.

Biden, meanwhile, was pinning his hopes on the so-called “blue wall” states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that sent Trump to the White House in 2016, although they could take hours or day to finish counting.

The 2020 election is shaping up to be the biggest betting event of all time, betting companies say, with one player on Monday placing a record-breaking one million-pound bet on a victory for Biden.

Biden had been favored before election day, but his chances according to oddsmakers plunged to less than one-in-three overnight, after Trump pushed ahead in the swing state of Florida.

Betfair Exchange said a record 425 million pounds ($554 million) has been bet on the outcome of the winner so far — more than double that of 2016. It accepts bets right up until the result is announced.

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