New Jersey regulators standing firm on US election betting

Residents of New Jersey that want to bet on the outcome of the November 2020 presidential election should not hold their breath. FanDuel’s West Virginia sportsbook posted odds on the race after receiving approval from state regulators, but the markets were pulled only minutes later.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has not budged on the issue and recently stated, “The Division of Gaming Enforcement has not permitted wagering on political events as a matter of public policy.”

New Jersey’s gambling regulator has been rather flexible when it comes to sports betting in the state. The DGE has approved a number of new wagering options in recent times, while the Garden State was the first to allow bets on awards ceremonies such as the Emmys and the Oscars.

Speaking at the 2019 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie insisted there was no legitimate reason to prohibit betting on politics.

“I don’t see any reason why not. It’s something, again, it goes to the core of the entertainment,” said Christie, who was a driving force behind the successful campaign to legalize gambling on sports in New Jersey.

“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.”

However, the issue is not so clear cut when it comes to the 2020 US election. As John Holden of the Legal Sports Report said, “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 a number of other places.”

The FanDuel Sportsbook in West Virginia offered a range of betting markets for the 2020 US presidential election. These included:

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

Those odds would have changed considering that Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race last Wednesday.

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