West Virginia appears poised to become the first U.S. state to allow political gambling, a move that would let people turn their Trump-versus-Biden predictions into cash.
The West Virginia Lottery said that officials initially approved a plan to let FanDuel and other sportsbooks offer political wagers, but needed time “to fully work through the implications and research it further.”
In a bizarre sequence earlier in the day, FanDuel went ahead and began offering bets on the presidential election, thinking it already had the approval it needed. But it halted the wagers after about 40 minutes and refunded customers’ money.
According to the odds that FanDuel posted, President Donald Trump is a slight favourite to win re-election, at -110. That means a $110 bet would turn a $100 profit. Senator Joe Biden, the likely Democratic nominee, has +125 odds, meaning a $100 bet would win $125.
FanDuel said it had plans to also let customers wager on who the Democratic vice presidential nominee will be and other national contests.
DraftKings Inc., a FanDuel rival, said it is assessing the situation.
“While we are excited about the possibility of offering odds on politics and elections to our customers in West Virginia, we are taking the time to ensure we evaluate the opportunity thoroughly before posting any lines,” Matt Kalish, North American president of DraftKings, said.