FanDuel Sportsbook is now taking bets on the 2020 Presidential election in West Virginia.
Update: Well, FanDuel Sportsbook was taking bets. The market launched just after 8 p.m. Tuesday night before disappearing entirely from FanDuel’s website and app. FanDuel Sportsbook did accept wagers on the 2020 Presidential election while the markets were live for approximately 15 minutes, but those markets were quickly closed.
Here’s the official statement from FanDuel Sportsbook regarding the pulled odds:
While the markets were approved, the West Virginia Lottery has asked FanDuel to refrain from offering the markets until they have time to fully work through the implications of this new market offering.
After obtaining approval by the West Virginia Lottery, the popular online sportsbook on Tuesday night became the first in the United States to offer legal betting odds on the upcoming election as well as a handful of other Presidential betting markets.
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It remains to be seen if other states will follow suit, but with online legal sports betting taking a hit as leagues around the world remain shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic, there could be a collective push by FanDuel, along with competing online sportsbook operators, to gain approval on political markets. If that happens, each individual state would then have to make a decision on whether or not to permit wagering on such outcomes.
The likelihood of political betting going legal in other states is still unknown. Nevada has previously denied such attempts for approval, while other states altogether forbid such activity. Still, it is worth pointing out that New Jersey has previously permitted wagering on events like the Oscars, whereas Pennsylvania hasn’t been quite as lenient with non-sports markets.
Here’s FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffensperger on the opening of political betting in West Virginia:
As the leading American sportsbook, we’re excited to be the first to offer legal political betting, proving once again there are truly more ways to win on FandDuel. We’re proud to have partnered with the West Virginia Lottery to bring these markets into a legal, regulated sportsbook where bettors have appropriate protections and assurances.
Though new to legal wagering in the United States, the Presidential election and other high profile political contests have historically drawn significant handles in overseas betting markets.
Still, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a legal online sportsbook enter the political realm. Though a free-to-play contest is far different than a traditional risk-based betting market, last month, one of FanDuel Sportsbook’s primary competitors, DraftKings Sportsbook, offered a free entry prize pool on the March 15 Democratic Debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
FanDuel Sportsbook 2020 Presidential Election Odds
Online betting markets for the 2020 Presidential Election were briefly available on Tuesday night to those who are at least 21 years old and physically located in the state of West Virginia. Those markets were pulled after roughly 15 minutes, but these markets are expected to ultimately go live again and will also be offered at The Greenbriar’s physical FanDuel Sportsbook location in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
So, who, according to FanDuel Sportsbook oddsmakers, has the inside track to win the 2020 Presidential election? That would be one Donald J. Trump, who opens as a slight -110 favorite over likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden at +125.
Here are some of the other political markets available to bettors in West Virginia:
- Democratic Nomination: Biden (-714), Andrew Cuomo (+1400), Bernie Sanders (+1600)
- Democratic Vice Presidential Nomination: Kamala Harris (+188), Amy Klobuchar (+400)
- US Presidential Election 2020 – Winning Party: Republican (-125), Democrat (-110)
- State by State Winning Party
Though national election betting markets are available in the state of West Virginia, not permitted are betting markets on local or state elections.
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