UK bookmakers stop taking bets on US election after Trump gets Covid-19

Posted October 2, 2020 9:36 a.m. EDT
Updated October 2, 2020 12:36 p.m. EDT

— All bets are off after President Donald Trump contracted Covid-19 — at least according to UK bookmakers.

Ladbrokes and William Hill said Friday that they would pause all wagers on the outcome of the US election in November until more information becomes available about the president's condition.

"This is standard procedure and we wish Donald and Melania Trump well," a spokesperson for Ladbrokes said in a statement.

Ladbrokes also paused betting on various scenarios when UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson fell ill with Covid-19 in March, according to the spokesperson.

Trump tweeted early Friday that he and the First Lady had tested positive for the virus. It's the most serious known health threat to a sitting American president in decades.

It casts huge uncertainty on the presidential election, which is just 32 days away, and the chances of a big new stimulus package to support the US economy.

The odds of a victory for former vice president Joe Biden jumped following the debate on Tuesday. It's not clear how Trump's illness will affect future assessments of who's out front.

Trump, who is now quarantining at the White House, has had to cancel campaign events. A White House official described Trump as having "mild symptoms."

No US states offer legal betting on presidential elections, according to the American Gaming Association, but betting on political events is common in the United Kingdom.

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