Last Tuesday, West Virginia became the very first state in the United States to trial betting on presidential election Betting. As it turns out, FanDuel had received approval from the West Virginia Lottery to offer betting odds on the presidential election. Despite this, the idea seems to have hit a dead end after the iGaming company abruptly pulled the market. This was after some West Virginia officials requested the operator to stop.
“The markets were initially approved, however, the West Virginia Lottery has asked FanDuel to refrain from offering the markets until we have time to fully work through the implications and research it further.”FanDuel’s Statement.
Naturally, the abrupt change in the tide of the recent development has raised a lot of eyebrows. A lot of questions have been raised regarding the legality of the launch and how it was approved. According to a spokesperson from the West Virginia Lottery, the decision to allow betting on the presidential betting is currently being reviewed. He added that this might have been a result of someone having “jumped before given an approval.”
As it stands, there is no clear timeline regarding when political betting will return to the country especially considering the fact that not all states are on board with the idea. For anyone who wants to enjoy that kind of betting, they may have to go for offshore betting sites in other markets such as Europe where betting on US politics is quite popular.
As mentioned earlier, the legality of political betting in the United States is still a bit of grey area in some states. The reactions to West Virginia’s attempt at allowing political bets range from extreme elation to utter disgust. Many people seem to be worried that such a move would result in the introduction of federal oversight into sports betting.
According to some legislators, political betting is actually legal. One, in particular, has pointed out that political betting will assist the state’s sportsbooks to draw from other states such as Washington and Pennsylvania where similar moves are yet to be tested out.
“I believe the language of our legislation allows for it, and I was hoping we would offer it before New Jersey. Regardless of whether it goes live now or not, that’s clearly the direction the market is trending. And (American elections are) certainly already being bet on illegally in the US and legally in Europe.”State Del. Shawn Fluharty (D-Wheeling)
Now, the opportunity is certainly very exciting but the legal implications, as well as the ongoing pandemic, mean that we will definitely have to wait longer.