Will New Jersey Allow 2020 Presidential Election Betting? Don’t Bet On It

Posted on April 8, 2020

New Jersey residents who are hoping that the 2020 presidential election betting becomes legal before November shouldn’t hold out.

Even after FanDuel Sportsbook posted 2020 political betting odds for its West Virginia customers Tuesday night. The operator reportedly received approval from the West Virginia Lottery. However, FanDuel pulled presidential betting odds feed minutes later.

But no matter how this controversial situation unfolds, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is not changing its stance.

Play NJ reached out to the DGE for a statement:

 “The Division of Gaming Enforcement has not permitted wagering on political events as a matter of public policy.”

Approving election betting not so easy

When it comes to NJ sports betting, Garden State regulators have shown flexibility. Earlier this week, the DGE approved several new wagering options.

New Jersey was the first jurisdiction to allow Oscars and Emmy betting.

At the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas last year, former Gov. Chris Christie spoke about legalizing election betting. Simply put, he used the words, “Why not?

Christie elaborated in more detail:

I don’t see any reason why not. It’s something, again, it goes to the core of the entertainment. If people believe it’s something that they want to put a wager on to make it more interesting for them — I don’t know how much more interesting presidential politics could be other than it is right now. But if they think betting makes it even more interesting, I don’t have any problem with that.”

But putting money down on whether President Donald Trump or Joe Biden wins the 2020 presidential election is not so clear cut.

Legal Sports Report legal writer John Holden is one of those questioning the legality of such a move.

“Wagering on political markets is explicitly prohibited by statute in a number of states, and most states have found it incompatible with public policy in another of other places,” Holden said.

What would presidential betting look like?

Based on the odds FanDuel released for its West Virginia customers, there could be several potential wagers.

Here is a rundown of the options that FanDuel shared via a press release:

  • Winner of the 2020 presidential election (Trump -110, Biden +125)
  • Democratic nomination (Biden -714, Andrew Cuomo +1400, Bernie Sanders +1600)
  • Democratic vice president nomination (Kamala Harris +188, Amy Klobuchar +400)
  • US presidential election 2020 winning party (Republican -125, Democrat -110)
  • State-by-state winning party

And those odds would’ve shifted Wednesday morning after Sanders dropped out of the race.

While FanDuel maintains its position as New Jersey’s sports betting operator, it remains highly unlikely that these odds will appear on the app.

Could it change by the time the 2024 presidential election comes around?

Possibly.

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and now NJ sports betting and online gambling.

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