us politics

Gamblers Are Placing Bets On The Biden-Trump Rematch … But Maybe Not For Long

Regulators are pushing for a nationwide ban on certain types of wagers. Gamblers Are Placing Bets On The Biden-Trump Rematch … But Maybe Not For Long Giphy

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Online sportsbooks are legal in states across the U.S. and ads for various platforms abound with promises of big payouts for bets on sporting events of all sorts. But the gambling craze extends far beyond the realm of athletics and has firmly entered the political world.

Prediction markets

It’s widely legal to gamble on the outcome of the 2024 presidential election — as well as a host of other variables within the financial markets. But federal regulators have their sights set on these wagers, collectively known as prediction markets.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is pursuing a ban on prediction markets, which would prevent you from making (or losing) money on the outcome of the election. The new rule currently being considered would have a wide-ranging impact on these bets, but the prediction markets hope they’ll be able to prevail on the merits.

Even as regulators bring the hammer down, many markets remain active. And ongoing court cases seek to overturn the federal government’s efforts.

Economist Eric Zitzewitz says prediction markets are more than a source of fun … they can also benefit society.

“We learn nothing from a crap game, and very close to nothing that’s economically interesting from sports betting,” he said. “But having a market price on the odds of economically meaningful political outcomes is extremely valuable to those who are affected by them.”

Weighing the odds

The future of prediction markets is up in the air, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at how current bids forecast the outcome of the upcoming election. As it stands, wagers placed on PredictIt show Donald Trump and Joe Biden effectively tied.

A University of Iowa project gives Biden a slight edge, but Trump has the advantage in a number of foreign and offshore prediction markets.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee May 18th, 2024
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