NEW YORK/LONDON Donald Trump's chances of winning the Republican nomination for the White House shot to a record high at online betting sites around the world on Wednesday after his latest victory in voting in Nevada.
Betting venues in Britain, Ireland and New Zealand show the online wagering community coalescing around Trump, once considered a rank outsider attracting long-shot odds of 200/1.
Following his double-digit margin win in Nevada's Republican caucuses on Tuesday, his third victory in the first four early nominating contests, odds have tightened all the way to 1/2 in some cases.
"Mr Trump has triumphed yet again, despite political analysts almost unanimously writing him off as a serious presidential contender," said Graham Sharpe from William Hill, adding one customer stood to collect at least $100,000 if Trump was elected to the White House on Nov. 8.
William Hill and Betway make Trump 1/2 favourite to get the Republican nod, while Ladbrokes cut his odds to 4/9, the same as those shown on Ireland's PaddyPower.
His nearest rival, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio from Florida, featured odds of 6/1 on Ladbrokes. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has been battling with Rubio for the No. 2 spot in the early voting states, has sunk to a deep longshot. Paddy Power gives Cruz odds of 33/1, its site shows.
Bettors also markedly cut the odds on Trump becoming president, although he still trails Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who won Nevada's Democratic caucuses on Saturday.
Jessica Bridge from Ladbrokes said Trump was on a roll heading into Super Tuesday on March 1, when several U.S. states hold nominating contests.
On PredictIt, a site operated by Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, Trump's chances of winning the Republican nod were the highest since it started tracking the race in October 2015.
A Trump bet there, on a scale of $0.00 to $1, stood at 72 cents, up 4 cents, while Rubio tumbled 7 cents to 24 cents and Cruz sank a penny to 4 cents, matching a record low.
(Reporting by Michael Holden in London and Dan Burns in New York; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Howard Goller)
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