US Sportsbooks Offering Free Presidential Debate Pools, Cash Winnings on Line

Posted on: September 28, 2020, 03:07h. 

Last updated on: September 29, 2020, 08:14h.

The first of three planned presidential debates will be held tomorrow in Cleveland, Ohio, and legal sportsbooks in the United States are offering their customers free-to-play pools with cash prizes.

debate Trump Biden 2020 odds
Joe Biden and Donald Trump will go head-to-head tomorrow night in Cleveland in the first of three scheduled presidential debates. (Image: ABC News)

BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel are three sports betting operators that are holding free contests on the first showdown between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

DraftKings and FanDuel have each set aside $50,000 to divvy up to its players who most accurately predict a series of debate outcomes. BetMGM’s pool is $25,000.

The goal, of course, is for the sportsbooks to sign up new customers. Those who enter the free debate contests and win money will have their funds deposited into their sports betting or daily fantasy sports account.

Tuesday night’s discussion will be moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace and aired live from the Cleveland Clinic. The debate is organized by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

Place Your Bet 

Players in the debate pools will be asked 10 questions on what’s sure to be a can’t-miss event.

How the candidates greet each other is a question on both DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Answers include a handshake, fist bump, elbow bump, or no touching. The Commission of Presidential Debates has said the two candidates will not make contact with one another because of COVID-19.

What issue will be the first debate topic addressed?” asks FanDuel. Answers include COVID-19, Supreme Court, election integrity, and other.

“Who will be mentioned first by either candidate?” DraftKings asks, with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and “Neither is mentioned” as choices.

“Will Joe Biden mention his Corvette?” is a more playful question on DraftKings. FanDuel dips into some of the lightheartednesses with, “Will Trump refer to Biden as ‘Sleepy Joe?'” and “Will Biden mention ‘Scranton?'”

Political Betting Prohibition

Sports betting is operational in 18 states plus DC. But no state gaming regulatory agency has yet approved sportsbooks from taking wagers on political outcomes. So, while you can make a bet on the number of touchdown passes Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes might throw tonight during Monday Night Football, you can’t legally bet on the number of times Trump might say “China” tomorrow.

That could change should sportsbooks be able to display to state gaming regulators the interest surrounding political betting. FanDuel CEO Matt King told Yahoo! Finance last year that it’s a goal of the company to bring legal betting on politics to the US.

We would love to offer politics,” King explained. “We like to offer games that everybody loves to play. The reality is it’s just a question of, ‘Will it be allowed from a regulatory perspective?’ “

In the meantime, US residents can put money on their political prowess on the betting exchange PredictIt.

Biden holds a commanding lead on the exchange, his shares of winning the 2020 presidential election trading at 59 cents. Trump is a distant second at 44 cents.