5 Nov 2018
Wanna Bet Democrats Take House? Europeans Do
The 2018 midterm elections is shaping up to be the most important in American history, or at least that is what a recent SurveyMonkey/theSkimm/Hive poll would have us believe. According to the poll, 62 percent of Americans think that this is the most important midterm election in the history of the United States.
While the stakes may be high for Americans, at least politically, millions of Europeans have a different kind of interest in the outcome. They are putting their money where their mouths ares and wagering on the outcome of Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Gambling Is a Big Part of Sports
According to Sports-Kings.com, over $400 billion is spent gambling on sports each year in the United States. That number is expected to rise due to a recent Supreme Court decision that struck down a 1992 federal law which banned most states from engaging in commercial sports gambling. The ruling is expected to add $150 billion more in wagers per year.
Wagers on games is as much a part of the baseball, football, and other sports as balls, bats, and cleats. More fans actually watch sports to see if their fantasy players have performed well or to see if the teams they wagered on were victorious than they do to see if their favorite team won. For many, it is a great way to add another level of enjoyment to the games.
Gambling on Politics?
In each election, there are forecasters and pundits who predict the outcomes of the various races. Nate Silver, who provides his insights for FiveThirtyEight.com, is a writer and statistician who has been using mathematical formulas to determine the outcome of elections for over a decade.
Silver accurately predicted the winner in all 50 states in the 2012 election, earning himself a position as a consultant with ABC News, but his 2016 predictions were far from accurate, as he gave Hillary Clinton a 71 percent chance of becoming president.
Silver is predicting a nearly 85 percent chance that the Democrats will win back the House of Representatives on Tuesday. While many Democrats would love to see that happen, the oddsmakers don’t agree with him. Yes, oddsmakers.
While millions of Americans will be heading to the polls on Tuesday, millions of Europeans will be visiting sports booking sites to place a wager on which party they think will win the House of Representatives and Senate. They can also bet on the 36 governors’ races from around the country as well as each race in the Congress.
Most agree that the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate, but the vast majority of pollsters think the Democrats will take back the House. The oddsmakers are not so sure.
According to MyBookie.ag, Republicans are expected to maintain control of the House of Representatives when the dust has settled on Tuesday. The site places the line at -13o that Democrats will win, meaning a person would have to wager $130 to win $100. The line for Republicans is -110, meaning a person who wagered $110 would win $100. According to USA Today, that line changed from October 28, when the site predicted that the Republicans (-140) would remain in control of the House.
The site is already placing odds on who will win the 2020 election as well. The line for a Donald Trump victory is at -170 while Democrats winning is put at +130.
Those Crazy Europeans
While Americans may want to get in on the action, unless they are traveling to Europe, they will not be able to do so. Betting on the American elections is not allowed in the United States, forcing some to fly to London to place their wagers.
Oddly enough, betting on politics in Europe is as popular as sports betting. In fact, it is considered a form of sports betting, but why would one bet on an election where they don’t have a horse in the race? That is likely why many do – the results really don’t matter to them, so they can be more impartial in their selection (a key to sensible betting).
On Wednesday morning, a lot of Americans are going to wake up facing the reality of what politics in America is going be like for the next two years. Millions of Europeans will wake up wondering if they made money, preparing for their next opportunity to bet on an American election.