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US Presidential election: where gamblers are putting their cash

Nationwide polls have the US Presidential race a statistical dead heat - but with Obama a nose ahead in Ohio and a number of battleground states.

The punters diverge from the pollsters, with most seeing an easy win for the incumbent.

Here, the Victoria University-backed iPredict.co.nz has slug slow this afternoon. Administrator Oliver Ibbetson (with Exceltium, which manages the service) pointed to more than 7000 trades on the site's contract on a Democratic candidate (that is, Obama), winning the election.

Contracts for the President to win were down 10.23% to $0.72 mid-afternoon - meaning traders give Obama a 72% chance of winning (if he does hold the White House, the contract pays out at $1. If he loses, it pays $0).

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Conversely, iPredict punters give Romeny a 29.6% chance of winning, with his contracts trading on a much lower volume.

In the US, IEM (the Iowa Electronic Markets) sits in a similar space to iPredict. That is, it's run by a university (the University of Iowa's Business School) but members bet with real money.

IEM punters were buying winner-take-all Obama contracts at $0.73 this afternoon, meaning they give the President a 73% chance of winning (like iPredict, it pays out at $1 if the President wins, $0 if he loses).

On October 29, there were 5300 trades on the contract.

Intrade - the slickest US electronic market and the one that frequently gets name-checked by the likes of the The Wall Street Journal - has Obama at 64.9% (meaning "shares" in an Obama win cost $US6.49) and Romney at 35.1% late Monday NZ time.

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On more conventional gambling sites, Obama is also heavily favoured.

Pinnacle Sports is paying $US1.28 for an Obama win and $US4.15 for Romney.

Betfair.com has Obama at $US1.28, and Romney at $US4.40.

Election results will come through Wednesday afternoon NZ time.