Vegas Election Betting 101: Understand What The Odds Are Asking

kamala harris shrugging

Last week, BetOnline hit the ground running with a host of wacky entertainment odds on alien invasions and abductions.

But while those lines are still up, we’re switching gears back to interesting political fare.

Lately, BetOnline Sportsbook has been the undisputed champion of Vegas election betting, covering issues from the US and abroad with equal enthusiasm.

However, one line recently posted to the boards really got us thinking, especially given the state of current events across the US and international political landscapes:  

Will there be a female President in 2024?

  • No -220   
  • Yes +160  

This line isn’t just a political bet, it’s also a lesson about how online political betting actually works.

But even more than that, it’s a lesson about the questions you need to ask as a gambler before you risk actual cash on any betting line.

Quite simply, this is an example of an open-ended wager with no discernable concrete parameters for what constitutes a win or a loss for the bettor.

What that happens, of course, it’s easy to drop BetOnline a line through the site’s live chat or email contact form, and that’s exactly what you’ll need to do if you want to put any money on these odds.

The issue here is that we aren’t exactly sure what this wager is asking.

It could be baking in savvy technicalities that actually make the odds far more attractive than they’d otherwise be, or it’s simply clumsily worded with the effect that it unintentionally misleads would-be bettors.

Basically, here’s the snag:

Is the question asking whether there will be a female President in office during the 2024 election, or is it asking whether a female candidate will win the 2024 election?

These are two dramatically different scenarios, and the latter is far more likely to hit than the former.

The question then becomes whether or not BetOnline will pay out winning wagers thereof.

Consider: Joe Biden is a feeble old man with obvious significant health issues.

Those following his recent sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2021 G7 summit were greeted with a series of cringe-inducing flubs and stutters.

These were only exacerbated by the general juxtaposition of an iron-handed statesman shaking hands with a puppet-handed empty shell.

The meeting by no means inspired confidence in Dementia Joe.

Also consider: During the same G7 summit, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau disclosed to several aides that he assumes Kamala Harris will be the US President by 2022.

If that happens – if Biden cannot finish out his term (and the “allegedly” fraudulent 2020 Presidential election isn’t overturned altogether with the “alleged” real winner installed) – then the US will indeed have a female President at the time of the 2024 election.

And that will be regardless of whichever potential candidate actually wins the 2024 election.

In these terms, it’s almost a sure thing that the above bet will hit.

But these terms may not be the sportsbook’s terms.

Here’s how BetOnline qualifies the wager:

“Will any woman be US President at the 2024 US Presidential Election?”

So, if Biden dropping out before the conclusion of his term is part of this wager, the line on the “Yes” at +160 is very valuable.

In essence, it’s asking the same question as the following line, which has a markedly lower payout for an (almost) identical outcome:

2021 Joe Biden Presidential Mental Fitness Test Update

Will Joe Biden complete his first term as US President?

  • Yes -200 (-200)
  • No +150 (+150)

There’s still no movement here, but after Uncle Joe’s trip abroad sinks in and bettors start to watch clips and highlights of the fiasco, the delta should narrow considerably.

Get your bets in ASAP if you’re bullish on a premature Biden exit.

Update: After publication of this post, BetOnline updated its qualifier on the 2024 election line to read as follows: “Will any woman become US President at the 2024 US Presidential Election.” This indicates that the wager applies only to a female that is elected or installed as President as a result of the November general in 2024. Again, this demonstrates the importance of identifying any betting line’s wiggle room and seeking out clarification from your operator. It is unclear if bets placed under the first vague qualifier will be eligible for the alternative outcome discussed above or if these wagers will be refunded.