How to bet on politics online
A public thirst to bet on complex political topics and scenarios has emerged – in 2020 one bettor placed a single $1.29 million bet on Joe Biden to win the US Presidential election. The popularity of political betting in locations where it is legal has forced online sportsbooks to offer a variety of political betting markets that include presidential and mayoral races, and even key words said in important speeches.
Best sportsbooks for betting on politics
Politics: Most popular markets
The US 2024 presidential election odds are already available at certain political betting sites. These election odds will look a lot different closer to election time but like any other future bet, the possible returns are usually higher at the beginning of the race.
The crazy nature of the US presidential race has had a lot to do with the popularity of political betting. Donald Trump was a +475 underdog on election night before his come-from-behind win in 2016 and a whopping +15,000 on Oct 11, 2013. Some betting sites have reported more action on the 2020 presidential election than any other sporting event in history.
Looking at the 2024 presidential election predictions and odds, vice-president Kamala Harris has similar odds (+350) to current president Joe Bidden (+400), while Trump sits third at +650. Some other notable players in the race are Jeff Bezos (+2000), Michelle Obama (+3300), Mark Cuban (+5000), and Elon Musk (+10,000).
The US Congressional elections will take place on November 8, 2022. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be up for grabs as well as 34 total seats in the Senate.
The House of Representatives historically goes to the party not in the White House during midterm elections, meaning the Republicans could be in for a win in 2022.
The US Congress is composed of two parts: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Currently, the Democrats have 222 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, the Republicans have 50 seats, the Democrats have 48, and two Independent senators — who align (also known as ‘caucus’) with the Democrats — have seats. The Democratic vice-president yields the 51st vote if there is a 50-50 tie. Senators represent a US state while House representatives represent smaller districts within a state.
Some important Senate seats will be up for grabs in Iowa with Theresa Greenfield (D) -125 vs incumbent Joni Ernst (R) -110; North Carolina with Cal Cunningham (D) -150 vs incumbent Thom Tillis (R) +110; and South Carolina where incumbent Lindsey Graham (R) faces Jaime Harrison (D) +163.
The next United Kingdom general election is scheduled to take place no later than May 2, 2024. The Conservative party won a majority in the 2019 general election and all 650 seats are up for grabs in every general election, with 326 needed for a majority. The Conservatives currently occupy 365 seats with Labour holding 200.
The Conservatives are a slight favorite to win the most seats in the next general election at odds of -125, with the Labour party close behind at +120. The Liberal Democrats have the third-lowest political odds but are considered a huge longshot at +20,000.
Betting on UK politics may be one of the most popular markets in online political betting. The biggest market is who will be the UK’s next prime minister. Unlike the American presidency where there is a two-term limit, current PM Boris Johnson could remain in office as long as his party remains the majority leader in the House of Commons.
A new Prime Minister may be installed if the Conservatives lose their majority at the next general election; if their government loses a confidence motion and a general election is called; and/or the party loses confidence in its leader and forces a party leadership election.
Before we look at who will win to be the next prime minister, we need to look at the UK politics odds of the contenders to lead the top parties.
Deputy Leader Angela Rayner is the favorite (+550) to replace current Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer, though Starmer is himself reasonably new to the role. London Mayor Sadiq Khan isn’t far behind at +800. While Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is the favorite to replace Boris Johnson as the Conservative Party leader with political betting odds of +175.
Back to the P.M. race, Sunak leads the pack to become the next prime minister at +250, with Starmer close behind at +333.
Not all political bets involve a person actually winning or losing. Sometimes it’s the outcome of what a country is voting on – better known as a referendum.
The UK Brexit vote of 2016 saw over $200 million in bets with the majority of large wagers betting on the United Kingdom to remain as part of the European Union. Fast Forward to 2021, and we can still wager on whether or not the UK will re-join the EU as a full member by 2026 on many political betting sites. The NO is heavily favored at -1000 with the YES at +500.
Another popular referendum market is Scotland’s independence. They voted against leaving the UK in 2014 with NO winning 55.3% of the vote. Scotland may be headed for another referendum soon depending on the outcome of the upcoming election. Scotland to remain in the UK is favored at -143, with independence sitting at even money.
The next Australian federal election will take place in or before 2022. The party with the majority of the seats in the House of Representatives will be deemed the winner of the election.
There are 151 seats in the Australian House with 77 of those are currently occupied by the Liberal-National Coalition (led by Scott Morrison). The Coalition will be looking for its fourth three-year term.
Opposing Morrison and the Coalition is the Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese.
Looking at the Australian Federal Election odds, we see the Coalition is favored at -238 with the Labor Party boasting odds of +175 to win the election.
The cities of New York and London have long been the pinnacle of mayoral positions around the world. This familiarity has made betting on the races of these respective cities one of the more popular betting markets and it can be found at most politics betting sites offering wagers on political betting.
New York will get a new mayor this year as incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio has reached his term limit and cannot run again. Vying for the prestigious position is a collective group of politicians, business elites, volunteer organization leaders, and entrepreneurs. The favorite to win is currently Eric Adams (-200) followed by Kathryn Garcia (+300) and Andrew Yang (+700).
The next London mayoral elections are scheduled to take place in 2024.
Politics bets explained
Use our playbook to hone your betting skills.
Futures Bets/Outright Winner
A future bet, or outright winner, is a wager on a future event. A big reason for the popularity of online political betting is the simplicity. All we need to do is pick the winner of the race or election. Most outcomes are very straightforward with little to no gray area. They may take a year or two to see a result, but early future odds may be worth it.
Is betting on politics legal?
Yes, political betting is legal across most of the world. Politics has been one of the oldest things we as humans have bet on. Betting on elections can be traced back to the late 19th century and has never been more popular than it is now.
Around the globe, the rise and popularity of political betting has it being offered at a strong majority of major books.
In some countries, however, such as the United States, betting on politics is illegal. No licensed sportsbook anywhere in the US will offer odds on an upcoming election or any other political betting market. Under federal law, Americans are not allowed to gamble on politics, so US sportsbooks will not offer these markets.
Political betting tips
Being informed is always beneficial when wagering on political outcomes. Social media usually moves faster than other sources of news and staying on top of current affairs can go a long way in turning a profit.
Another very important strategy is to have multiple books. Not all politics betting sites have the same odds and some books can be slow to change their prices. Getting to a line before it changes is never a bad thing. Shop around and find the best value.
Broaden your information sources. Sometimes we can fall into a trap of getting our news from one major source. This can lead to narrow views on certain political events. If you want to back your guy, there is nothing wrong with that, but obtaining all the information you can before placing a bet will help us in the long run.