Analysis

Are the betting votes already won?

The volume of early voting in the states where sports betting questions are on the ballot suggests the votes may have already been decided.

Early voting is a feature of this year’s Presidential election and ahead of the vote today, it seems likely the sports betting questions on the ballot in three states have may already have been decided.

Huge turnout

Maryland, Louisiana and North Dakota each put questions to the voters on sports betting.

According to data from the New York Times, early voting in each of these states – strongly Biden in Maryland and strongly Trump in Louisiana and South Dakota – are at historically high levels.

In the case of the latter, 41% of the total vote in 2016 have been cast while in Louisiana the percentage that have already voted stands at 37% and in Maryland the total is 34% of the votes.

At national level, a record 97.6 million people have already cast their ballot by mail or in person, according to the Times.

Early voting is no guide to which way the vote is going to go, but it does however indicate a degree of engagement with the process. 

No guarantees

“I think punters may have used it to latch onto the strength of Biden’s lead,” suggested William Kedjanyi, political betting specialist at Star Sports. “However, it can’t be taken as absolute gospel – unaffiliated voters aren’t being accounted for in these tallies.”

The result is almost certain in one gaming state at least. According to analysis from John Ralston, President Trump would have “less of a chance to win (Nevada) than he does of getting a gaming license in Nevada”.

Though Trump has an eponymous hotel in Las Vegas, he famously failed to gain a casino licence.

“The Democrats have banked so many votes (in Nevada) in early voting that it is almost impossible for the Republicans to overcome it on Election Day,” said Ralston.

Ralston predicts a blue wave will follow in Biden’s wake in Nevada, despite the unpopularity of the Democrat Governor Steve Sisolak, who is seen as having mishandled the pandemic response.

To counter the news from Nevada, DraftKings updated on its $100,000 election pool yesterday, showing that a majority of fantasy players in every state bar Colorado believe Trump will be the winner today.

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Scott Longley

Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early noughties covering personal finance, sport and the gambling industry. He has worked for a number of publications including Investor's Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, EGR and GamblingCompliance.com. He now writes for online and print titles across a wide range of sectors.

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