Can political betting better predict the presidential election?


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — What's your bet on the election?

Some people have money riding on next Tuesday's presidential result, whenever it's available.

WCBS 880's Paul Murnane spoke with Jason Trost with the betting website Smarkets. He tracks what he calls a "predictive market."

"We have about $14 million traded on the presidential market alone, which is a record for us," Trost said. "We're seeing people trading Biden around 67% and trading Trump around 33%."

Smarkets said it is currently predicting a 314-224 Democrat victory.

Political betting is not legal in the United States yet, so all this traffic is coming from the legalized market in the United Kingdom.

"It's completely legal over there," Trost said. "So these are people are based abroad who are wagering on the U.S. election."

Trost believes political betting could someday come to the U.S. legally.

"I think if you look 100 years ago political betting was quite a big activity," he said. "The problem in the United States is the laws. As everybody knows, sports betting is starting to open up and people are still uncomfortable with political betting going massive, but I think there's going to be a huge amount of demand for people to bet on these things."

He believes political betting could be a better way to track races than polls, arguing that polls represent a snapshot in time, while wagering can show where money is going on political races in real time.