The US presidential election is the Super Bowl of US election betting. Unfortunately, you can’t legally bet on the presidential election in North Carolina. Or anywhere else in the US, for that matter.
State gambling regulators have thus far refused to allow any licensed US sportsbook to accept bets on the outcome of any election for any public office. This, of course, is to prevent election fixing, election fraud, or any other improprieties.
The closest one can find online sportsbooks that offer legal odds on the US presidential election is in Canada or Europe. In those jurisdictions, sportsbooks have already posted 2024 US election odds. And with the 2024 US presidential election shaping up as a Joe Biden-Donald Trump rematch, it’s quickly becoming the biggest US election betting market ever.
You’ll have to leave the US to bet on it legally, or you can get in on the action with fun and free US election betting contests (such as the FREE Politics Pick’em Contest) available in the States. Either way, here’s everything you need to know about betting on the 2024 US presidential election.
US presidential election odds
The 2024 US presidential election odds are constantly moving and have shifted significantly since President Biden was elected the 46th president of the US in the 2020 presidential election.
The following table shows how the odds looked in January 2024 at two top US sportsbook brands (odds as posted in Ontario, Canada):
|2024 US Presidential Candidate
|FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario
|BetMGM Sportsbook Ontario
|Robert Kennedy Jr.
Odds for Republican candidate for president
DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario also posted odds on who will be the Republican candidate for president. Former President Trump is the big favorite and has been since losing the 2020 presidential election:
|Republican Candidate for President
The Carolinas will largely influence the Republican race. In fact, the South Carolina primary might be a better indicator of the eventual nominee than Iowa.
Odds for Democratic candidate for president
DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario also posted odds on who will be the Democratic candidate for president. As the incumbent, Biden is the favorite, but the odds have tightened since he won the 2020 presidential election:
|Democratic Candidate for President
Odds for winning party in the presidential election
The following table shows the odds of which party will win the 2024 US presidential election.
The odds are close to even between the Republicans and Democrats and have been since the 2020 presidential election, when Biden, a Democrat, won the Electoral College vote, 306-232, and the popular vote 51.3% to 46.8% over Trump, a Republican.
|2024 US Presidential Election Winning Party
|DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario
|FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario
|BetMGM Sportsbook Ontario
|Independent / Other
Presidential election trends
Here’s a look at three presidential election trends worth considering before betting on the 2024 US presidential election.
- It’s tough to beat an incumbent president. There have been 46 US presidencies, and only 10 incumbent US presidents have lost an election in a bid for a second term. Of course, that list includes Trump, who lost the 2020 election. Before that, it had been 30 years since the last incumbent US president lost an election. That was President George H.W. Bush in 1993.
- Betting on a Democrat other than Biden is like lighting money on fire. Biden may be struggling in the polls, and his overall job approval rating is at an all-time low. However, no major US political party has ever chosen not to nominate an incumbent eligible for re-election. The chances that the Democrats go with any other candidate in 2024 besides Biden are between incredibly slim and none.
- The odds may favor Trump in a rematch with Biden. All signs point to Trump taking on Biden in a rematch of the 2020 presidential election. That would be the seventh presidential election rematch and the first since the 1950s. The loser of the first election returned to win in the first four presidential election rematches. However, the incumbent has won the past two. A Biden-Trump rematch would be unique because it would be an incumbent versus a former president. Former President Grover Cleveland beat incumbent President Benjamin Harrison in 1892 in a similar incumbent-versus-former-president election.
Is it legal to bet on a US presidential election?
Unfortunately, you cannot legally bet on US elections in the US with state-licensed online sportsbooks. The 2024 US presidential election odds featured here are from the regulated political betting markets at online sportsbooks in Ontario, Canada.
Most state regulators have published rules saying sportsbooks can’t accept bets on anything other than athletic events. Some are even clear that there’s no betting on the outcome of any election for any public office in the US allowed. It is an effort to prevent election fixing or election fraud. North Carolina’s catalog of wagerable sports explicitly excludes election betting.
However, as sports betting has continued to weave its way into the mainstream, a more realistic view of the connection between betting and election fixing or fraud is emerging. This has led to most US sportsbook experts opining that legal betting on a US presidential election could come as soon as 2028.
In the meantime, US gamblers interested in the upcoming presidential election can take a trip to Canada or participate in free-to-play election games like the FREE Politics Pick’em Contest at TheLines.com.
How does election betting work?
Basic US presidential election betting works like Super Bowl futures betting during the NFL season. Instead of picking the NFL team you think will win the Super Bowl, you choose the presidential candidate you think will win the election.
You place all bets at the currently posted odds, which you lock in when you place your bet, no matter how much they change between then and the election. If the candidate you bet on wins the election, you get paid according to the odds you locked in.
Bet $100 on Joe Biden to win re-election at the +200 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario in November 2023, and if Biden wins, you’ll collect a total of $300. These odds may change depending on how the election season plays out, but you’ll be locked in at +200.
Generally, the further away from the election, the better the odds, even on the incumbent and the favorite to win the other party’s nomination. The odds will shrink significantly on the true favorite if one emerges.
Either way, once it’s down to a Democratic and Republican nominee and any others, you’ll be looking at a small list of two or three candidates and significantly shorter odds.