Political Betting – Guide To Gambling On Political Events

Politics certainly isn’t the first thing that gamblers think of when they log into their favorite online sportsbook. However, betting on politics is one of the fastest growing betting markets in the world.

Billions of dollars are wagered on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential Race alone. That’s not counting the many other political markets in America and around the world, particularly in areas where sports gambling is legal and regulated.

Best Political Betting Sites 2018

Payment Grade
Bet Now

Political Betting Markets

Betting on the outcome of elections has been around quite a while, but the expansion of markets in the past few years has been impressive. In the older days, political markets were small, and usually just consisted of odds on Republican and Democratic nominations and the Presidential election.

politics betting markets

These days, it’s much more than the above image. Bettors can now wager on the winners of primaries in each state and ton of other stuff, like margins of victory, and if one of the candidates with face federal charges!

Other politics sports

It’s important to keep in mind, that 5Dimes provides a much larger list of political betting options than most other U.S. facing sportsbooks. Many sites still offer just a few primary markets, as BetOnline does, but if you’re looking for more in-depth political markets, they are easily available.

International sportsbooks, particularly those based out of the United Kingdom or Ireland have extensive offerings in political markets, with considerably higher betting limits than most U.S. sportsbooks. Their markets extend far beyond the American political spectrum. They offer odds available on politics from across the world.

Worldwide politics betting

The number of markets available at some of these large bookmakers puts most US-facing sportsbooks to shame. They also accept considerably more money on these markets. BetOnline Sportsbook and Bovada Sportsbook, like most online sportsbooks taking residents from the United States, are quite conservative compared to larger bookmakers like Paddy Power. They have a maximum wager of $500 on political markets.

Paddy Power, on the other hand, has a maximum payout up to £20,000 on political markets. While Paddy Power is a large bookmaker, which has large betting limits, these are not out of the ordinary when it comes to regulated betting markets.

PredictIt is a prediction market that has its roots in New Zealand. They provided a prediction exchange on both political and financial markets. The company, surprisingly, is owned by a University, the Victoria University of Wellington. They also have an office in Washington. D.C.

PredictIt began operating November 2014 and has grown in popularity since then. PredictIt operates similar to a betting exchange, except they use a double-auction to sell shares. This means that for every prediction that will take place, there must be another person matching the wager or predicting the event not to happen. PredictIt isn’t classified as illegal gambling, either in their home country of New Zealand or the United States. To secure this distinction, each question (betting market) is limited to 5,000 traders (bettors) and $850 maximum investment (bet) on each question.

PredictIt.org In The US

We’re happy that PredictIt can operate in the United States without legal issues. However, they aren’t licensed by any state and are not expressly allowed to operate according to federal law. They cannot operate in Nevada and Washington, due to not having a license and laws against online gambling, respectively. We bring up PredictIt as an alternative for sports bettors in U.S. or compliment to online sportsbooks. Their maximum $850 per market is more than most sportsbooks will take on political markets. The site is an excellent alternative or complement to online sports betting markets on politics.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that while PredictIt isn’t illegal, it also isn’t expressly legal either. As it rises in popularity, it may become another target for the U.S. Department of Justice. So far, so good, though, as of May 2016. It is also worth keeping in mind that PredictIt doesn’t have an efficient market. It’s not going to be as accurate as foreign bookmakers, or betting exchanges, like BetFair, which is renowned. Although, it is still an excellent site for trading (betting) on elections and other events for American residents.

Political Betting Strategy

Political betting markets are one of the best novelty markets for bettors to consider attacking, even if they have little or interest in politics. Value can be tough to spot, but as we get closer to election day, +EV spots will open up for sharp bettors.

Recreational Political Bettors

The one thing about proposition or recreational betting markets is that a significant portion of the players that bet them are recreational or losing bettors. Politics are polarizing, there is rarely unilateral action in politics, like some other proposition or recreational markets.

Even when the election may be clearly decided, before it comes time to go to the polls, bettors may still be wagering on the underdog to significant numbers. Sharp bettors should usually be able to get themselves a decent price as they get closer to election day because there’s almost always to be proper action on both sides.

Market Efficiency In Politics Betting

It isn’t a secret that sports betting markets can predict the outcome of sporting events closer than anyone in the media. The accuracy of the oddsmakers beats anyone else in the world, and it’s not close. However, as far as political markets go, that may not be the case. As mentioned above, there is a lot of money being wagered on elections these days, but the efficiency of political markets is still something up for debate.

Some claim that the markets are mostly efficient, particularly the top bookmakers, and that worldwide betting markets are more accurate than polls. While others see hidden value in polling data that may be more accurate in predicting the margin of victory. It’s tough to trust numbers reported by the media, or coverage given to particular candidates because often the media has their own agenda. Also, polls differ depending on how they are calculated. Nevertheless, there’s a simple solution here for those who want to bet these markets, consider all factors. There are also several sites that are dedicated to political markets, which are excellent resources.

Political Betting – Blogs and Resources

  • ElectionBettingOdds.com uses BetFair (world’s largest betting exchange) for odds on American elections. Their predictions are updated every five minutes, and they have odds for both party nominations, in addition, to the presidency. The odds are also available, for state primaries.
  • PoliticalBetting.com calls themselves “the best online resource for betting on politics”, and they might be right. The site centers around British politics, but covers everything under the sun, including American elections. There is new content daily, and lively discussion on just about every post in the comment section. This is a must-read publication if you’re seriously interested in betting politics.
  • PoliticalGambler.com is run by British journalist and professional gambler, Paul Motty. He’s also a columnist for Politco.com and analyst for BetFair on political markets. He’s one of the best minds in the business. Even though he’s British, he knows U.S. politics better than most American pundits.

When to Bet On Political Events?

When to bet isn’t usually a topic that we discuss much when it comes to betting sports. Next day odds for baseball, basketball and hockey odds are up in the late evening or early morning. Football is the one sport that is spread out over a week. There are intricacies to betting each sport, but for the most part, the goal for bettors in most markets is simply line shopping and beating the closing line. Political betting is a bit different.

French Election Betting OddsSportsbooks post odds for elections way in advance. Odds begin appearing several years before the election at some bookmakers. Compare this to futures for major sports, which are, at most, posted a year in advance. Why do they post odds on elections so early? Well, for one, no bookmaker is going to be unhappy about someone placing a bet two years in advance. Secondly, it gives the industry publicity, and if other sportsbooks have the market, then you need to match your competitors.

There is certainly merit to placing a bet far in advance on political markets if you believe that the odds will change in your favor as election day approaches. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the time, it’s better to wait until closer to election day to place your bet. As we get close to election day, things become clearer, and there is still value at the betting window. Front-runners will often change in the years leading up to the election. Typically, the value comes towards the end of the race for gamblers.