Indian punters backing Clinton lose heavily

Mumbai, Nov 9 (IANS) The US presidential elections evoked massive interest among Indian punters and bookies, but this time around the tables were turned on the prime favourite.

According to sources, punters had placed bets worth around Rs 700-900 crore on the elections, their top favourite being Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.

The bets were placed and accepted online through remote servers operating from secret locations to evade law enforcers.

Hours before the final poll process began in the US on Tuesday evening, the former Secretary of State commanded a rate ranging between Re 0.39 – Re 0.35.

Around the same time, Republican Party nominee Donald Trump trailed way behind at Rs 2.70 – Rs 3.00.

However, some hours later, those who backed Trump turned out to be the winners, while the Clinton backers lost heavily in the bets.

“Clinton remained the top favourite among punters since over a month when the campaign started hotting up, given her background as the wife of former President Bill Clinton. Also, the expectation that US voters would create history by electing the first woman president, weighed their decisions,” a source explained.

However, nothing seemed to move the betters on the Trump front, especially after alleged sleaze reports coupled with business problems surfaced during the campaign, and the fact that he is a political greenhorn.

Usually, as the election results progress, bookies expect changes in wagering trends, depending on the swings, especially with most opinion polls predicting a photo-finish.

This time, the attention of local punters was completely diverted to the stunning demonetisation of Rs 500-Rs 1,000 currency notes announced on Tuesday night by the Indian government.

Despite the losses to many, the winners in the game of stakes benefitted handsomely and would be repaid — albeit at a revised cost, in view of the demonetisation.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at q.najmi@ians.in)

–IANS

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