US Legal Sites
reviewed by experts

West Virginia Allows Political Betting for Less Than an Hour

West Virginia election betting

Sports betting has been nearly non-existent in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, as professional and collegiate sports leagues have shut down. For less than an hour on Tuesday, though, gamblers in West Virginia were able to bet on this fall’s presidential election. In an odd day, FanDuel launched election betting, only to take it down 40 minutes later.

FanDuel was able to post bets for a short time because the West Virginia Lottery approved political wagering. Shortly thereafter, that approval was withdrawn, as were the betting lines.

“….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,” FanDuel said.

FanDuel had set Donald Trump as a slight favorite to win the presidential election, establishing an opening line of -110. Joe Biden was +125. The company refunded its customers’ wagers.

Approval took Governor by surprise

Making things even stranger is that top West Virginia officials had no idea that the Lottery had approved political wagering.

“I thought, you know, are you kidding me? The first thing that came to my mind was, you know, what next?” said Governor Jim Justice on Wednesday. “It’s humorous, but it’s ridiculous.”

In a statement, Secretary of State Mac Warner was blunt in his evaluation of the situation:

“Gambling on elections has been illegal in West Virginia since 1868. Gambling on the outcome of an election has no place in our American democracy. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. This is a terrible idea. Let’s shut this down right now and be very clear about it.

There are outlets for election wagering

Political betting does exist elsewhere in the world. European-based sportsbooks offer odds on not only who will win the U.S. presidential election, but also on who the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee will be, who will win the popular vote, and more.

Americans are also able to place their bets on a site called PredictIt. PredictIt does things differently. Rather than posting odds and taking wagers from customers, the site has set up a betting market like a stock market. Gamblers can buy shares in an outcome for anywhere from $0.01 to $0.99. If that outcome ends up happening, those who own shares sell them back for $1 each. Shares can also be sold at any time before the outcome is decided.

Donald Trump’s share price is currently $0.51, while Joe Biden is at $0.45. Those prices can fluctuate depending on the confidence of the market.

Legendary oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro said in September that there is a huge appetite for political betting in the U.S. and abroad. He has been setting lines on the election for “entertainment purposes,” but believes loads of money can be made from real-money betting.

For now, West Virginia election betting will continue to be put on hold.

Other News
DraftKings Becomes Official Sponsor of the Colorado Rockies

Daily fantasy sports powerhouse DraftKings has agreed with the Colorado Rockies to become the Major League Baseball club’s official sports betting operator and their daily fantasy operator. This move mimics a deal that the Denver Broncos and BetMGM conducted earlier in July. DraftKings will get the use of the Rockies team logos and trademarks, have ...

Read More
Nevada Gaming Commission Fines Casinos $435,000

Enforcement era is upon us The Nevada Gaming Commission hit state casinos with a total of $435,000 in fines on Thursday for a combination of COVID-19 regulatory violations and one big policy failing. The greatest number of fines was handed out for COVID-19 health and safety rules violations. They covered things like lack of social ...

Read More
DraftKings Strengthens Board of Directors

Boston-headquartered online sportsbook and daily fantasy operator DraftKings has announced two new additions to its board of directors.  Effective from yesterday (September 23rd), Jocelyn Moore and Valerie Mosley have been named as directors.  With these latest two appointments, the DraftKings board has now been expanded to 15 members.  The beginning of Moore and Mosley’s tenures ...

Read More
NetEnt Launches Slot Games for New Client in Pennsylvania

Sweden-based online games developer NetEnt has strengthened its presence in the Pennsylvanian market.  The B2B iGaming supplier has launched its slot games with Wind Creek Casino, a tribal operator in the state.  NetEnt’s content integration is the latest step in Wind Creek’s venture in the world of online gaming, having launched its real-money casino website ...

Read More
Barstool Launches Sports Betting App in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents are now enjoying the launch of the Barstool Sportsbook mobile betting app

Read More
We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more