Top 10 gambling-related topics for US Election Day

2 November 2020

Here in the U.S., Tuesday is the big day (officially) for the presidential election. Many have mailed in ballots already and it is likely it may take some time to determine the clear winner between incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President and Democratic candidate Joe Biden. While that is obviously still on our radar, we also take a look at the gambling side of the election in regards to individual states. Some U.S. states have sports betting and gambling on their ballot questions.

Many books have seen tons of activity with bets being placed on the election, seeing incredible amounts wagered. Today, U.K.-based Betfair Exchange said there had already been £271 million bet on the 2020 election, thanks to a record-setting wager made on Monday (more on that below) and projects that almost $400 million will be bet on the outcome, easily surpassing the $258 million wagered on the 2016 election.

Others like Ladbrokes and could see major losses if Trump comes away with the victory. However, before we get into the odds to win, let’s take a look at some other figures.

10. Allow gambling in more Colorado towns
Colorado could see some changes to its gambling way of life after the election depending on the answer to Amendment 77 on the ballot.

The gambling question for The Centennial State is for limits on bets and restrictions on casino games in Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City. This question allows them to determine if they want to change or even remove limit on bets.

Currently the single-bet maximum is $100 in those areas but could be changed if the “Yes” receives the majority of votes.

This would come off the heels of last year’s big vote for Colorado when they approved sports wagering for the state, which launched in May.

9. Gambling expansion in Virginia
Five municipalities in Virginia — Portsmouth, Norfolk, Danville, Bristol and Richmond — will be voting on potential casino expansion on Tuesday.

Caesars Entertainment is for sure hoping that voters in Danville, Virginia will approve a casino license for a Caesars casino property in the town.

The company announced in August that it had plans to build the casino in Danville.

On the other side, some are expressing that a casino built in Danville would be harmful to the area so they are turning to the polls to decide the matter.

If a simple majority is in favor of the casino, then Caesars Entertainment may continue with their plans to proceed with the project.

8. Maryland sports betting
Along with Louisiana and South Dakota, Maryland is the third state to vote in the 2020 election for allowing sports betting. It seems that even with a “yes” for these states, it will still take some time to get sports betting up and running.

The reason we are focusing on Maryland is because it has been a matter of time for when it would happen. Every state that borders Maryland is already with legalized sports wagering, all of which are live except for Virginia which will be live in two months.

Sen. Craig Zucker’s proposal would both retail and online sports betting to be allowed at both casinos and racetracks in the state. Recent polling has seen many voters in favor of sports betting in Maryland, so it is almost just a matter of when it would be launched.

7. Gambling at Nebraska horse tracks
Nebraska voters will have the opportunity to decide if they want to allow casino gambling at horse tracks in the state or not.

If the question is approved, racetracks in Omaha, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Columbus, Hastings and Grand Island would be able to have expanded gambling the their facilities.

If that does happen, then a seven-member gaming commission would be formed in order to oversee the new casinos at the race tracks.

6. Date the winner will be declared
You’ve probably heard it plenty of times so far, but 2020 has been full of different experiences and unprecedented times. That is no different for the 2020 presidential election in the U.S. With the amount of mail-in ballots due to lack of in-person voting because of COVID-19, the votes may not be calculated as promptly as we’ve seen in the past.

It doesn’t help that it is a close race up to this point so the lack of clarity on a winner will also contribute to the delay of a winner being announced.

Unibet Sports & Racebook has this as one of their special bets for “tomorrow’s” election. Personally, I think it could take a week, maybe longer, to determine the 100% winner. Unibet lists 9 November or later at +250 odds being the day it is announced.

5. Which presidential candidate is better for online gambling?
In last week’s This Week in Gambling video, J. Todd covers the election with some major facts and figures, while connecting the candidates to the online gambling world.

J. Todd led with how, even though Trump has had land-based casinos across the country, his administration has tried to stop online gaming in the U.S.

In 2019, the US Department of Justice (under the Trump Administration) "changed their opinion" on the 1961 Federal Wire Act. This law deals with conducting gambling on an interstate basis. Historically, it prohibits only interstate sports betting, but the DOJ’s new position is an attempt to extend it to all forms of online gambling.

Also, one of Donald Trump’s biggest donors is Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson, who has campaigned relentlessly to criminalize online gambling in America.

J. Todd continued with how Joe Biden said he would aim to reverse the DOJ’s opinion regarding the Wire Act which would be better for online gambling.

4. Party to win Pennsylvania
Swing states are where most of the election attention is drawn to because they, in reality, determine who will be in the Oval Office for the next four years. Pennsylvania has been one in the past and is going to be another major factor in this year’s election.

Representing 20 electoral college votes, Pennsylvania is currently leaning toward the Democratic party according to several sportsbooks, including Intertops Sportsbook.

Joe Biden is the favorite to win the state at -227.

3. Party to win Florida
Florida is another swing state that can swing the way the election pans out. The winner of the state gathers 29 electoral college votes and the favorite for The Sunshine State is Donald Trump.

Florida seems to be a much closer race than Pennsylvania at the moment. According to Intertops Sportsbook, the Republican candidate is sitting at -167 odds to add 29 votes to his bag.

Due to the importance of Florida, both candidates held rallies in the state later in their campaigns so they can gain as much late support from such a crucial state as they can.

2. Party to win Arizona
The last swing state we are highlighting is Arizona. While it may not be as heavy in electoral college votes as the others, that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as important.

With 11 electoral college votes, it still brings a good chunk to the winner of the state. Since it is anticipated to be a close presidential election, any amount helps in order to reach the desired 270 electoral college votes to win.

Arizona is more of a toss-up state compared to Florida and Pennsylvania according to the books. Intertops has a slight advantage in Arizona for Joe Biden at -154. Obviously that isn’t a sure thing, really none of the swing states listed are, so anything can happen.

If the favorite wins every state, as it happened in 2012, then Biden would walk away with 305 electoral college votes according to Betfair Exchange.

1. Trump or Biden?
The big question that everyone is waiting for is who will win the presidential election. A certain Betfair Exchange punter certainly made it clear who he or she thinks will prevail. The company announced today that one of its account holders bet £1 million on Biden to beat President Trump - the biggest single bet of U.S. election 2020.

“The (£1m) bet is the biggest political bet of all time on the Betfair Exchange and returns a handsome £1,540,000 if Biden wins the keys to the White House,” said Betfair Spokesman Sam Rosbottom said.

The Betfair Exchange odds are in line with most other books. Ladbrokes Sportsbook & Racebook, along with many others, has Biden as the favorite to win at 1-to-2 odds. Obviously. Trump is behind him with 13-to-8 odds.

As mentioned before, it really comes down to the swing states to determine how this will play out. After some tough to watch debates between Biden and Trump, we saw Biden’s numbers begin to increase to where they are now.

It appears that most everyone has Biden with the upper hand currently and that isn’t much of a shock to many people, but that’s what most pundits were saying about Hillary Clinton four years ago and, like I said, anything can happen, especially in 2020.

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