Canadians bet thousands of dollars on presidential election

John Langeler reports.

VANCOUVER, BC -- In January 2015 he was a 100-to-1 shot.  Businessman Donald Trump, at that point not a presidential candidate, was nonetheless included on the list of potential nominees by British Columbia Lottery Corporation for its first ever novelty bet on the U.S. election.

Tuesday, Trump's odds had improved, now 21-to-5 or roughly a 19% chance of winning.

"I think the jump in popularity does correlate with his campaign," said Doug Cheng with BCLC, "With having Donald Trump being such a controversial candidate, there is that excitement factor that you really wouldn't get with other candidates."

Cheng said more than $258,000 dollars has been bet on the American election from 2,400 or so wagers.  Trump's chief opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, was a 19-to-100 bet to win, or about 84% chance of victory.

Only Canadians can place wagers.

The popularity speaks to Canadian interest in the race for the White House.

"One of the positions I hear repeatedly from Canadians is, in a nation of 330 million people, how did we come up with these two people," commented U.S. expat and longtime Vancouver resident Jeff Peterson.

Peterson, a Republican, is not a Trump supporter.  He frequently speaks on local radio with fellow American expat Michael Meneer, a Democrat.

"I've been debating this guy for about six years," joked Meneer, "So, to hear that he's going to vote for Clinton, I have to take some comfort in that."

Meneer and Peterson said many Canadians have also expressed sadness over the state of the U.S. election.  Most are not Trump supporters either.

"I don't know how you people tolerate that," said Peter Bernard, from Toronto, "Aren't there any smart people in the states anymore?"

Copyright 2016 KING


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