Rovell: U.S. Presidential Election Betting Lasts 15 Minutes in West Virginia
Drew Angerer/Getty Images. Pictured: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference.
UPDATE: FanDuel had its U.S. Presidential Election odds up in West Virginia for approximately 15 minutes on Tuesday night before pulling them down entirely and removing the Politics tab from its site and app.
FanDuel said the following in a statement to The Action Network: "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."
A West Virginia Lottery spokesperson told Legal Sports Report, "It is my understanding that we were asked by the sportsbooks to allow betting on the presidential election and it is being reviewed. I think possibly someone jumped before being given an approval.”
DraftKings, which is FanDuel's competitor in West Virginia, would not detail what they believe the state of the offering was, but in a statement from Matt Kalish, President of DraftKings North America, said, "While we are excited about the possibility of offering odds on politics and elections to our customers in West Virginia, we are taking the time to ensure we evaluate the opportunity thoroughly before posting any lines."
FanDuel took at least one bet on its U.S. Presidential Election markets that were posted on Tuesday night, according to a spokesperson. The sportsbook had the following bets available shortly after it announced it had been approved to be the first U.S. sportsbook to ever offer political betting: 2020 Presidential Election winner, 2020 Democratic nominee winner, winning party of 2020 U.S. Presidential Election and Democratic Vice President Nominee.
Editor's note: The story below was our original news article after FanDuel went live with U.S. Presidential Election odds.
For the first time in U.S. history, it will be legal for a sportsbook to offer odds on the presidential election, as authorities in West Virginia have approved wagering on the contest.
The U.S. presidential election has been a popular bet in Europe, but Nevada had never approved it and no governing body since PASPA was undone in May 2018 has approved it.
But as regular sports disappeared due to the coronavirus, it was expected that sportsbooks would want to offer the contest, which has all the ingredients of a good betting market.
"The handle would be astronomical," said Vegas oddsmaker John Murray when I asked him in early March what he'd expect to see if U.S. sportsbooks could offer political betting. "It’s just something that everyone has an opinion on. Everyone thinks they know about it more than the next guy. It’s such a polarizing topic, even more than sports."
Sarbjit Bakhshi — the head of political markets for Smarkets, an outfit based in London that had taken nearly $4 million in bets on the 2020 U.S. presidential race as of early March — estimated at the time that U.S. books were leaving "billions of dollars" on the table by not offering political betting.
That will change in a small way on Tuesday night, as FanDuel Sportsbook goes live with odds in West Virginia, thanks the West Virginia Lottery’s approval. We'll see if the other big legal betting states — Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Indiana — follow suit.
Below are FanDuel's opening odds for various categories as of Tuesday evening. (Local and state elections will not be eligible for betting.)
2020 Presidential Election Odds
An explanation of the odds below: -110 means that a $110 bet would profit $100 if you win, while +125 means that a $100 bet would win $125.
- Donald Trump -110
- Joe Biden +125
- Andrew Cuomo +2200
- Bernie Sanders +3500
- Mike Pence +3500
- Hillary Clinton +5000
- Nikki Haley +5000
- Michelle Obama +10000
2020 Democratic Nomination Odds
An explanation of the odds below: -700 means that a $700 bet would profit $100 if you win, while +1400 means that a $100 bet would win $1,400.
- Joe Biden -700
- Andrew Cuomo +1400
- Bernie Sanders +1600
- Hillary Clinton +1600
- Michelle Obama +4000
Democratic Vice Presidential Nomination Odds
An explanation of the odds below: +190 means that a $100 bet would win $190.
- Kamala Harris +190
- Amy Klobuchar +300
- Stacey Abrams +400
- Catherine Cortez Masto +550
- Gretchen Whitmer +600
- Elizabeth Warren +1400
- Val Demings +1400
U.S. Presidential Election 2020, Winning Party Odds
An explanation of the odds below: -115 means that a $115 bet would profit $100 if you win, while +105 means that a $105 bet would win $100.
- Republican -115
- Democrat -105
- Independents +3500