The political betting market is taking off with the renewed interest in American and global elections, most of which can be credited to outsider Donald J. Trump winning the US Presidency in November 2016. As the old Washington rules are now fundamentally altered, the intrigue around the highest office in the land has never been more pervasive and buzzworthy.
With mainstream media ratings at all-time highs, election betting sites are taking note and have offered a host of betting lines on everything from candidate debates and state primaries to general election odds. You can even find political spread betting and totals odds if you know where to look – And we definitely know where to look! If it’s happening in politics, you can bet it’s happening on the odds boards at legal offshore sportsbooks.
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Yes, it is legal to bet on political events, but you won’t find any domestic sportsbooks that offer political betting odds. Despite the newfound proliferation of state-licensed sports betting, election odds – and other “entertainment” betting – are generally not offered. Some states have excluded politics from their approved wager markets, but most have just followed the Las Vegas standard of simply not offering such lines.
This means that even if you have a local sportsbook available to you, you won’t be able to bet on political outcomes there. Instead, you’ll have to use one of the political betting sites featured here, all of which have their fingers firmly on the pulse of America’s most irritating and polarizing news market.
If you think you know what the goons in office (or running for office) are up to, you can make a few bucks by betting on it. Yeah, you’ll have to give the government a cut of your winnings (yay taxes!), but you might as well maximize your haul before Uncle Sam comes calling.
Note: All forms of online gambling are barred in Washington and Connecticut, though these laws are historically unenforced with no record of any fines or arrests. Still, if you live in WA or CT, please follow all local laws and proceed at your own risk.
The election betting market is full of different kinds of wager opportunities, and proposition wagers – or props – are merely one variety of the many odds and political betting lines you can find at offshore sportsbooks. Within the category of political props, there are a few different kinds of general bets you’ll find.
Even outside of election season, things like impeachment odds, administration staff firings, and other day-to-day soap opera minutiae are featured front and center on political betting sites.
US politics betting is featured heavily at most premier gambling sites, and the following 2021 election props are among the most popular – and most amusing – that we’ve come across. While any online bookmaker will offer 2021 election betting odds, most only have a handful available at any given time.
If you want the best props for this election, you need to stick with the most popular US-facing sportsbooks. By signing up at several of them, you can maximize your entertainment – and your bankroll. After all, dead Presidents trump living pols every time!
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If you visit any major offshore sportsbook, you’ll see that political betting follows the same structure as other sports betting. This is helpful for those familiar with the US moneyline and the standard bet presentation in use across the nation.
However, for newcomers to the fold – especially for those who want to bet on politics but aren’t particularly interested in less important sports – there are a few basics to understand before laying down your hard-earned government fiat money (or, if you’re particularly independent and seditious, your Bitcoin!).
For in-depth details on how to bet on politics, you should check out our Political Betting Guide. That’s where we explain how the “moneyline” works, so you can read and understand every election wager you come across. As for the basic political props on the menu, those are listed below.
A frequent straight bet during the 2020 primaries involved wagering on which candidate will be the next to drop out of the race.
How many times Trump will tweet during a debate is a typical political over/under, as are most debate props involving specific things candidates may say. Vote percentages in primaries are presented in the over/under format, too.
Other examples include things like “Will the Democrats have a brokered convention,” “Will Joe Biden drop out before Super Tuesday,” and “Will the current Ayatollah be alive when Trump leaves office.” The sky (or the gutter) is the limit when it comes to political Yes/No wagers.
For example, an election 2020 prop in the form of a “point spread” could be something like picking whether or not Donald Trump will win Texas by a particular margin of votes, or whether Bernie Sanders will win Vermont in a landslide. You can also get political spreads on things like debate interruptions, speaking times, and more.
Prop bets on politics and elections are an inexact science compared to other action offered by sportsbooks. In other words, the outcomes are far more volatile, with far less empirical data to go off for the bookmaker. For this reason, betting limits are often installed.
Take the case at BetOnline, where political props – and other entertainment odds – have $1000 betting limits. This keeps the book from taking on too much liability and bankrupting itself by letting gamblers wager too much on a “sure thing.”
Example: If a sportsbook accepted a $1 million bet on Bernie Sanders’ odds to win the Vermont primary, they might be out an automatic $100,000 or more. As a result, you’ll rarely be able to make huge single bets on politics. And though different offshore betting sites will have different betting limits on election odds, they’ll all be in the same ballpark.
Election props will not always be available, but whenever the election cycle heats up in a given year (or whenever there’s a particularly controversial politician holding a high office like the US Presidency), you will be able to find betting action at most reputable sportsbook sites.
“Best” is always relative, but some wagers are going to be better than others. The best props might just be the most fun ones, like betting on Finland to join Iran in a war against the US, or on France to surrender within a month or two of any declared war (yes, that’s a real bet you can make). Do it for the cash, or do it for the lulz. The choice is yours!
This is a personal matter, but we don’t see why not. After all, any time you cast your vote at the polls, that’s effectively a bet on Presidential election action, and you usually have even more money on the line. To us, wagering on politics and elections is the most ethical aspect of the entire institution, and if you want to keep your sanity in the run up to November, your online bookie is probably better than any therapist or psychiatrist could possibly be.
There has always been political betting in the US, though it’s usually been done on the black market. The famous bettor Jimmy The Greek (aka Jimmy Snyder) – the man who popularized the football point spread on national television in the 1980s – made his name by famously wagering $10,000 on Harry S. Truman to win the 1948 Presidential election at 17-1 odds, winning $170,000 (or $1.8 million in today’s dollars). In recent times, political betting has become more open and accepted, though you can still only legally participate in the market at offshore betting sites. With the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there’s been an intense interest in betting on all things politics, and we won’t be surprised to see state-based books eventually offering daily election odds to local bettors in the near future.
Because the US is number one, baby! As the world’s foremost superpower and the most prosperous nation on earth, the USA has no peers on the grand scale. And because of that status, its politics resonate worldwide in a way that no other nation can match. Do you know who the President of Italy is? How about the President of Azerbaijan? Hungary? Norway? Heck, the only reason you know who Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are is because of the media’s insistence that these characters have some outsize pull on the American POTUS. As a result of America’s global clout, US political betting – and especially the 2024 election betting odds – dominate the boards worldwide.
Yes, it is. We’ve already discussed legality above, but safety is also predicated on things like data security, confidentiality, and so on. Fortunately, all the major offshore political prop sites we recommend have established themselves as leaders on these fronts. These operators use state-of-the-art SSL and TLS encryption standards, allow blockchain-backed cryptocurrency deposits (i.e. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, etc.), and never share your personal or financial information with third parties. With political betting, discretion is the name of the game. And that, ironically, is a lesson most politicians could stand to learn.