The US presidential election is still ten days away but India’s betting or ‘satta’ market already has a winner. Democratic party candidate Joe Biden is expected to defeat Republican party candidate and incumbent Donald Trump, in line with pre-poll media surveys. The market has been offering rates 50 percent lower for a Biden win compared to a Trump win.
As for the Bihar election, the betting community expects a tough fight between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led mahagatbandhan and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Why the US election is big this time
This year’s US election has been attracting a lot of attention from Indian bettors. A bookmaker told Moneycontrol: “The US presidential election was not very attractive in previous elections. However, this time, more than Rs 2,000 crore of betting has already been executed. One reason is the heightened Indian media coverage of the American election and second is Trump’s popularity in India.”
However, the bookmaker added that the odds do not favour Donald Trump. Anyone betting Rs 1 lakh on a Trump victory will get Rs 2 lakh if he wins a second term. On the other hand, anyone backing a Biden win with Rs 1 lakh will get only Rs 1.4 lakh.
In satta market language, the winning rate for Biden is 40 paisa and for Trump is Re 1.
Several bookmakers across India, including in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kolkata and Mumbai, have been offering rates in this range.
These rates, however, dropped after the final debate on Thursday night.
“Betting will increase as the election date of November 3 comes closer and the picture gets clearer,” a bookmaker from Ahmedabad told Moneycontrol.
Bids have mostly been coming from States that have sent a high number of migrants to the US, including Gujarat, Punjab and Maharashtra.
In Bihar, most bookmakers expect Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and the NDA to be neck and neck in the final seat tally. A Delhi-based punter expects the RJD to win 94-96 seats, the NDA to get 86-88 seats with the Congress to bag 30-32 seats. Bids for any of these parties will win back an equal amount for this result. Meaning a Re 1 bid will earn Re 1 if the seat count is as predicted.
Faludi, Maharashtra, Gujarat markets
Faludi, a town in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district, near the India-Pakistan border, is known for betting. The market there expects the NDA to win 93-96 seats to the RJD’s 91-94 and Congress’ 29-31.
In Maharashtra, a bookmaker has offered odds on the NDA winning 88-90 seats, RJD: 92-94 seats and the Congress: 30-32 seats
In Gujarat, the odds are on the NDA winning 88-91 seats and the RJD winning 125 seats.
Bookmakers expect major changes in the NDA’s seat share after rallies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in Bihar. Political pundits, too, feel the BJP will emerge the single largest party in the State.
Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) may, however, end up losing big.