Guide to Legally Betting on Politics and Elections
Learn how to legally bet on the Presidential Election and other Political events in the US.
Legally betting on politics is one of those intriguing niches within the gambling industry, and unbeknownst to many bettors, political wagers can end up yielding a nice hefty payout if you place your bets right.
As a larger range of people have become more politically aware and involved during the last two presidential elections, the bettor base has expanded exponentially. Based on this steady growth in legal politics betting, we decided to include this gambling platform as one of the topics covered in our guide.
The irony of betting on the elections and events associated with those politicians attempting to outlaw gambling is not lost on the American people. However, it is still prudent to make sure you understand the legalities surrounding political betting, and what legally sanctioned options should really be considered.
Legal Status For Betting On Politics In America
Many players just want a simple explanation as to whether or not it is legal to bet on politics in the United States. The short answer is yes, betting on political events online is legal in the US simply because there are no specific federal regulations that outlaw the act of offshore gambling.
The repeal of PASPA has made things even more simple and we are likely to see both domestic and offshore legal political betting gain momentum.
Bovada Politics Betting
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Bovada is our top recommended sportsbook for betting on politics. Their lines are always competitive and comparable to the Las Vegas sportsbooks. Because Bovada caters almost exclusively to USA players, they put a lot of thought and work into creating comprehensive betting lines and odds for those who enjoy betting on US politics. They also sometimes cover big elections in other countries.
In addition, Bovada is a full-service online sportsbook, poker site, and casino. They support Bitcoin and offer same day payouts for cryptocurrency funding, as well as a nice 50% match bonus up to $250 in their sportsbook.
- Accepts USA players from most states
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- Owned and operated by trusted Bodog brand
- Most trusted site for US players
- Fast payouts on time every time
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- Excluded States: NV, NJ, DE, MD
Other Top Rated Sportsbooks
That Offer Political Betting Odds
The following is a list of the most reputable offshore betting sites in the industry. They pay out winnings just as fast if not faster than the US-regulated options and many of them offer some great ongoing promotions and bonuses for loyal players. The brands listed below offer futures, props, and betting lines for US politics along with a full-service sportsbook. Our sportsbook reviews page is intended to inform you of each sites pros and cons while offering an overall grade and detailing additional features.
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Is It Legal To Bet On Political Events In The US?
Yes, there are legal options for betting on politics in the US. Though state-regulated sports betting has expanded quite a bit across the country, there are no domestic sportsbooks offering political betting odds or lines at this time.
There are no US federal gambling laws prohibiting political betting at reputable, legitimate online sportsbooks operating legally outside of the United States or at domestic sportsbooks. Only two states restrict online betting at international political betting sites, CT and WA (though these restrictions remain unenforced).
State Gambling Laws Affecting Political Betting
A handful of states have already embraced state-regulated sports betting, while others are in the process of doing so. State-regulated sportsbooks are not interested in covering US politics at this time, and we don't expect that to change before the 2024 Presidential election, the senate and house elections, or the 2024 gubernatorial races.
It is perfectly legal to place bets on US or foreign politics through the trusted sites listed in this guide. Our ballot measures by state guide is a resource where you can track gambling bills to see what changes are being voted on for gambling reform in your area.
There are two states that prohibit online wagering of any kind regardless of the source, those being Washington state and Connecticut. While there is no evidence of enforcement of those restrictions, the fact remains that the laws are in place. We do not condone or encourage illegal gambling in any circumstance.
2021 Political Prop Bet Odds
Even though the Presidential election sees a great deal of betting action every four years, political prop bets provide bettors a way to cash the odds of what a politician will or won’t do, and sportsbooks frequently post a variety of entertaining novelty prop bets during the lull in between election seasons. The following political prop bets can be found online at Bovada sportsbook.
Gambling On Who Will Win The United States 2024 Presidential Election Race
The next US Presidential election will take place on November 3, 2024. As of now, there are no clear Presidential Candidates but online sportsbooks have odds for potential candidates.
2024 Presidential Candidates
Types of Political Wagering Lines and Odds Offered For the 2024 Presidential Election
As you might imagine, the big bet here boils down to the big office. Who will win the Presidency is always the biggest betting line. And you can often find more than just a winner-loser dichotomy; you can actually bet on:
- Electoral vs. popular vote totals
- Winning percentages (like point spreads)
- Other variations in a single 1 vs. 1 election
You can also find betting lines on entire parties. For instance, the 2018 Midterm Elections had Republicans favored to take both houses of Congress. They kept the Senate but lost the House to the Democrats. The next midterms may be reversed or be a clean sweep for one of the two major parties.
From a local standpoint, gubernatorial and even council member races are always hot-button items on the betting circuit. You can find a range of different political events and elections on which to bet.
You can also find prop bets, which will include things like the gender of the winner, the party of the winner, a clean win vs. a run-off/recount, and even bets about legislation like health care or immigration. Prop bets also include events such as debates.
If it's part of politics, then there's undoubtedly a sportsbook out there with a betting line on it.
Betting Odds Explained - The Most Common Types Of Betting Lines Available:
Odds for winning the 2024 Presidential Primary – This type of betting line will allow you to bet on who will win the nominations in the primary for each party. If you are participating early in the process and are placing a futures bet, your range of options may include individuals who have not yet announced their candidacy but that are active in the political landscape and are considered potential candidates.
The closer you get to the actual election, the more accurate your list of options may be. However, keep in mind that the futures bets can pay off big if you guess correctly.
Odds for Winning the 2024 US Presidential Election – Obviously, this type of betting line will concern the overall winner of the election. You will typically have a variety of associated lines, including the following:
- Odds for who will win the 2024 Presidential Election
- Odds for which party will win the 2024 Presidential Election
- Odds for which gender the winner of the 2024 Presidential Election will be
- Odds for the gender balance on the 2024 Presidential Tickets – this line is sometimes broken down by party affiliation, but not always.
Odds On Who Will Be Selected As The Vice President
In August of 2020, Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris to be his running mate and the nation's Vice President should he win the election. Most oddsmakers had Harris as the favorite to earn the spot for the majority of Biden's campaign.
Odds For Winning a Specific State – This type of betting line predicts the winner of influential swing states. For example, the Iowa Caucus odds start surfacing very early in the race. Other states are added closer to the actual election.
Winning the electoral votes in an influential state can make or break the election, hence these betting lines are particularly exciting and can determine the outcome of the election. The results of swing state Electoral College votes can be unpredictable, as we saw in 2012 when Obama took Florida despite the fact that Romney was the favored candidate to win the Sunshine State. We saw it again in a series of once-Democratic strongholds in the Midwest when Trump took states trending favorably for Hillary Clinton.
Odds For Winning the Popular Vote – Once the candidates have been selected, you will find more betting types added to the line up, such as betting on who will win the popular vote. Though it has no bearing on the overall election, political aficionados enjoy betting on who will win the popular vote.
There are times when the winner of the popular vote is not elected as President. The popular vote can be unpredictable, making it a very exciting wagering option. This type of option typically does not appear in the lines until about a month or two out from the actual election.
Electoral College Count - You will find that your range of wagering options for these lines increases after the candidates are selected and the election is approaching. This is when additional prop bets and specific options appear, such as over/under wagers for betting on the Electoral Vote count. In this type of political betting line you are predicting whether a candidate will receive more or less Electoral College votes than predicted.
Prop Bets - Some of the sportsbooks now offer some interesting prop bets for the upcoming election. You can wager on which candidates will win in hypothetical head-to-head matchups, what issues will be debated at a given townhall, and so on. Political props come and go on a near-weekly basis during the election cycle, so it's always good to pay attention to breaking news stories and how those might prompt new props or alter existing lines.
Why Betting on Politics Intrigues Us
One of the most amazing things about President Barack Obama's election in 2008 was that no one had really heard of the man in 2007. A junior Senator with an iffy record of no-votes and voting "present" on big issues, even those getting to know him didn't think he had the political chops. However, democracy proved what democracy is, in that experience counts for next to nothing when you're a popular, charismatic figure.
The people spoke, the people voted, and President Obama served two terms in office. Who actually saw that coming? Very, very few saw it coming. But for those who did, they may have cleaned up in the betting lines by betting on Obama for the win. When Trump ran in 2016, his odds were even longer, and now its possible he may win re-election to a second term.
The beautiful irony here is that it's actually politicians who seek to make gambling illegal across the nation, yet one of the most lucrative lines of betting is to wager on their elections and futures. Some may consider that to be very fitting, given the duplicitous, snake-like nature of many of these political buffoons.
But we're not out to play politics. Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, socialist or anarchist, it matters not. It's all about the gambling here, and we'll take a closer look at political betting for all interested parties.
How to Hate Politics but Love Betting on It
Compartmentalization is a word you may often hear, but you may not really know what it means. Well, put it this way: You can absolutely loathe the political process, yet you may still find a way to make money by gambling on politicians. Don't worry; this isn't cognitive dissonance. This is simple math. Money spends better than hatred. Now, of course, there are plenty of reasons to despise politics.
People who aren't even as smart as you, yet they stand on a podium, lie to the masses, and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in salary and benefits. Heck, when a politician retires, they earn a pension package that's probably higher than your salary, and they could have been a horrible politician. It's no wonder Congress has such low approval ratings. The average person despises politics.
But keep in mind that a government is something you're stuck with. Death and taxes, they say, and a savvy politician will even tax your death! How's that for control? There's just no shaking government; it's a monolith that's always with us. So, as the old adage suggests, one must laugh to keep from crying. Betting on politicians' fates can actually lighten you on the subject. You can learn to love gambling while still hating the political process.
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