Is the Presidential US elections truly sport? Apparently so, at least in West Virginia.
Presidential Odds Posted
It all started Tuesday, when DFS giant FanDuel announced in a press release that it was prepared to take wagers on the Presidential election and was partnering with the West Virginia Lottery to “bring these markets into a legal, regulated sportsbook.”
Down, but Not Out
The subsequent removal of the odds and Politics tab from the state’s betting site after 15 minutes ultimately hinted at the tiny US state positioning itself to be the first to allow
sportsbooks to take bets on political events.
FanDuel and the West Virginia lottery each issued follow-up statements confirming that West Virginia Lottery approved of the market, but FanDuel was to “refrain from offering the markets” until the Lottery has time to “fully work through the implications and research it further.”
WV’s Pioneering Tradition
The state displays a rugged individualism in this department, having legalized sports betting in the spring of 2018, prior to the US Supreme Court repealing the long-standing PASPA federal ban in May of the same year.
No Visible Loophole
The plans appear to fly in the face of both the Federal Commodity Trading Commission’s mandate that gambling on elections should not be authorized; and current West Virginia law itself, which states “it shall be unlawful to bet or wager money or other thing of value on any election held in this state.”
The Punting Must Go On
In these strange times when global sport is almost entirely canceled, it turns out gambling operators are working closely with regulators in states where betting is legal to come up with alternative wagering markets, including eSports.
Considering that lively punting activity among West Virginia punters stretched across odds on the presidential election winner; the Democratic nominee winner; the Democratic Vice President nominee; and the winning party, the popularity of Presidential betting is looking sportier by the day.