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WV Lottery pulled plug on political bets after sportsbooks pleaded during pandemic

MAGA hat old man betting on Trump 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of sporting events across the United States, legal sportsbooks in West Virginia asked regulators for help and to inquire whether they could accept bets on the 2020 presidential election and other political odds.

A new document containing email exchanges between the DraftKings/PNG, FanDuel, and others released Monday and show their operating officers discussing the possibility and the rationale as to why they should be allowed to accept bets on election futures and offer political prop bet markets.

The WV Lottery, the state’s sports betting regulatory body, approved requests from FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM to offer 2020 general election markets on April 7 less than one hour following the initial emails from licensed operators.

Three hours after receiving the green light is all it took for FanDuel to post its presidential futures. But after 15 minutes, the WV Lottery swiftly pulled the plug on their political betting odds.

FanDuel 2020 Presidential Election Odds

FanDuel 2020 Presidential Election Betting Odds

Erich Zimny, Hollywood Casino vice president of racing and sports operations, kicked things off by emailing joint requests from DraftKings and PNG on April 6 to David Bradley, WV Lottery deputy director of security.

The email sent by Zimny highlights a difficult financial situation as US sportsbooks continue to suffer without offering new ways to bet during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Both [PNG] and DraftKings would like to explore the possibility of offering political props on major election markets. I’ve attached a presentation prepared by DraftKings regarding some of the aspects of the political prop market.

We certainly understand and respect that it’s been an area you all have tread lightly on thus far and would – as always – welcome your feedback as to whether it would be something WV Lottery would entertain in whole or in part. If there are any further questions that could be answered, just let us know.

I realize this would be new ground for us and Lottery but, as you could imagine, in the struggle for markets to bet into these days, we’re looking for what’s out there that could entice some interest.”

Attached to the request is a massive proposal from DraftKings that includes information on a number of studies ranging from the financial and societal impact of political betting outside the US and the success of prediction market exchanges, like PredictIt, in regards to stateside action.

“Wagering on politics is available and extremely popular in several of the world’s largest overseas, regulated gambling jurisdictions.

Election betting is available in the UK, Canada, Australia, and Spain, although notably absent in France and Italy. The total amount matched on Betfair’s (UK based) 2016 US election markets was roughly $284 mil, compared with $50 mil on the 2012 election, an increase of 468%.

In the UK, local politics has also been extremely popular to bet on (although notably less so than US politics), including the Brexit vote which drew around $166 mil in matched bets, and $65 million on the night of the vote itself.”

Additionally, emails also praise how Bovada’s top-rated online sportsbook for always having live odds for the 2020 presidential election odds and a buffet of political props that any adult in the US can legally bet on.

“An enormous number of US residents are going to offshore sites where they can find a wide range of election markets available for betting. Google trends data shows that Bovada, the most well-known offshore site to Americans, is more sought after than both DraftKings and FanDuel.

Bovada is easily accessible on mobile devices throughout New Jersey and has a robust politics section. Bovada election odds are also regularly cited by reputable news sources.”

The remaining emails detail how West Virginia sportsbooks will never allow grown-ups to bet on politics (with their own hard-earned money) until voters use their rights and boot their elected officials out of office.

Until then, you can always bet that Bovada and other revered betting sites and mobile apps will have you covered for the 2020 presidential election.

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are set to face off in the general election, and below you’ll find the latest political betting odds on who will win the White House on Election Day 2020.

Bovada 2020 Presidential Election Odds

From Bovada Politics

  • Donald Trump -125
  • Joe Biden +125
  • Andrew Cuomo +3300
  • Hillary Clinton +5000
  • Mike Pence +5000
  • Nikki Haley +15000
  • Michelle Obama +20000

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