Congratulations to West Virginia’s election (bet) winners!
As Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Jim Justice and other high-ranking lawmakers across the country take the oath of office this week, Rally WV would like to congratulate the winners – the winning bettors, that is, and particularly those West Virginians who managed to cash a ticket in the “To Become Next President” proposition bet offering from Fan Duel.
While legislators and advisers debate the legality of betting on political contests according to state law, Fan Duel attempted to test the waters in the state, most assuredly due to the pitifully low handle the online sportsbook was pulling in going into the third month of the 2020 pandemic. Lottery officials, however, were having none of this gray market stuff.
While the markets were approved,” a statement from the sportsbook conceded, “the West Virginia Lottery has asked FanDuel to refrain from offering the markets until they have time to fully work through the implications of this new market offering.”
Ultimately, the odds on the “Next U.S. President” prop were available to West Virginians for just over 15 minutes. This was quite a negative decision for those looking to invest in a Biden win after the Super Tuesday primaries and the capitulation of virtually all competitors except Bernie Sanders. At the time the odds went live in West Virginia, Biden was drawing odds of what now seems like an incredible +115 versus Donald Trump’s line of -120; by Election Day, those numbers had steadily morphed to -1300 and +650, respectively.
On the other hand, the yanking away of the POTUS bet market was probably for the best overall. Not only did sportsbooks in general see twice as much action on Trump as Biden – despite the snowballing odds – most bookies note that bettors in such a prop tend to wager on the candidate they’ll be voting for. In West Virginia, Trump topped Biden by greater than a 2:1 margin, at 68.6% to 29.7%.