85% chance of Clinton winning the US election, say UK betting firms

Hillary Clinton has an 85 percent chance of winning the U.S. presidential election, at least according to two prominent U.K. betting companies.

Those considering placing money on the outcome of the U.S. election can get odds of 2/11 with Ladbrokes and Betfair, which implies an 85 percent probability of a Clinton win. At those odds, the gambler would receive just 18 cents for every dollar they bet.

Unfortunately for rival candidate Donald Trump, the odds of him winning the election are 6/1 (a 15 percent chance) according to Betfair, though any gamblers backing him would win back their stake six-fold. Ladbrokes has slightly better odds at 4/1.

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"Trump's odds have been drifting like a barge with the bookies in the past few weeks, however it looks like punters are hedging their bets thanks to the big prices on offer," said Jessica Bridge from Ladbrokes in a press release.

"At 2/11 Clinton would appear to be safe, but this two-horse race isn't over yet according to the cash being wagered on both candidates."

British bookmakers base their odds on how much money they receive: The more money it receives for Clinton to win, the lower the odds.

An election poll produced by NBC News and Survey Monkey
An election poll produced by NBC News and Survey Monkey

However, it's not a fool-proof system for predicting political events. Prior to the U.K. referendum on its membership of the European Union, the odds suggested a 76 percent chance of the remain campaign winning the vote.

Betting on the presidential election is proving lucrative. £75 million ($91.6 million) of bets have been placed with Betfair. On Tuesday alone, £1.3 million was placed with the bookmaker.

"After a few relatively stagnant days the market has burst into life again with over £1.3m matched already, which makes it one of the three busiest days of trading so far," Barry Orr, spokesperson for Betfair, said in a press release.

In a slightly odd twist, 16 percent of the bets placed on Tuesday were for Bernie Sanders, who lost the primary campaign to Clinton. He currently has odds of 259/1 on becoming president.

"In both the 2008 and 2012 elections, the outsiders in the market have been relatively untouched in the betting at this late stage of the presidential race, however Bernie Sanders has seen significant support and accounts for over 16 percent of the bets taken (on Tuesday)," said Orr.

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