Betfair responds to critics over its delay in settling Wh2020 bets

Betfair responds to critics over its delay in settling Wh2020 bets

The firm issued the following statement this evening:

We have not settled certain markets on the Betfair Exchange relating to the U.S. election because of the uncertainty about the outcome of the results caused by ongoing recounts and potential legal challenges. Given our responsibility to both backers and layers to ensure that the markets are settled correctly and given the unprecedented amount of money that has been traded on these markets, we have sought advice from leading U.S. lawyers to determine the appropriate time to settle the markets. We currently anticipate that we will wait until the outcome of the Electoral College votes on 14 December 2020 is known before we settle the markets. This, of course, assumes that there is no conclusive outcome before this date.

The problem with is the firm’s own rules for what has become a £1bn market. These state:

This market will be settled according to the candidate that has the most projected Electoral College votes won at the 2020 presidential election. Any subsequent events such as a ‘faithless elector’ will have no effect on the settlement of this market. In the event that no Presidential candidate receives a majority of the projected Electoral College votes, this market will be settled on the person chosen as President in accordance with the procedures set out by the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

So this is not on who actually becomes President but on the projected electoral college votes. As will be recalled all the major US media outlets and the Associated Press made their projections nearly three weeks ago on the Saturday after the election.

Mike Smithson

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