As someone who closely follows politics and its many permutations, it can be hard to stay abreast of the latest trends and stats that shape political betting. But if you want to make the most of the information available, it’s important to maintain a close eye on the data. Below we examine the current betting trends and provide some insights on how sports betting enthusiasts can make money from political events.
On the whole, political betting remains a niche market, particularly outside of the U.S. Wherever there is money to be made, there will always be people willing to wager it on politics. Currently, political betting is experiencing something of a revival as more people than ever before are interested in the 2018 midterms.
According to the latest figures from gambling analytics firm IGON, there are currently 19.6 million Americans actively engaged in sports betting, compared to 16.1 million in 2017. While the overall size of the U.S. sports betting market increased by 2.4% in 2018, it still represents a significantly smaller slice of the overall population. For context, there are 228.9 million U.S. residents as of 2018.
That being said, the size of the market is still significant, and it presents unique opportunities for savvy bettors. As more people become interested in sports betting, the odds of winning big increase, especially since many sportsbooks offer generous sign-up bonuses.
Why the Revival?
To understand the resurgence in political betting, it’s important to first look at why the market was in decline in the first place. Since the 2008 financial crisis, sports betting has largely remained a niche interest, overshadowed by the mainstream popularity of online casinos, which offer many of the same games and can be accessed from any device.
In addition, social distancing and the rise of mobile gambling have effectively shrunk the traditional sports betting landscape, pushing margins lower and lower. With fewer people engaged in sports betting, there weren’t as many people to share the betting picks with. As a result, interest in political betting faded, leaving a void that was eagerly replaced by the recent resurgence.
The renewed interest in political betting is being driven by a confluence of factors. Firstly, the expansion of legal gambling in the U.S., as many as four U.S. states have now legalized sports betting, while others have either partially or completely decriminalized it. The more states that allow for legal betting, the more opportunities for gambling enthusiasts to place bets, either online or via a land-based casino.
Secondly, the pandemic has created a new demand for online gambling, as many states have either opened up their online gambling market or eased restrictions, meaning that gamblers can now access their favorite sportsbooks and casino games from the comfort of their home. In some cases, such as Nevada, online gambling was entirely legalized during the pandemic, providing even more opportunities for people who want to bet on sports.
Finally, increased access to information has led to a greater interest in politics and an increase in political news consumption. Since 2016, news sites such as Breitbart, The Drudge Report, and The New York Times have published frequent and increasingly in-depth reports on the state of politics in America.
As a result, more people than ever are getting interested in the state of politics and how it affects their personal lives. The latest round of political betting follows this trend, as more and more people want to follow the news and/or make bets based on their values & beliefs. In the past, people would research political parties, issues and candidates long before making a decision, but that process has become much simpler thanks to the Internet. Now, the decision-making process begins online and is often concluded (at least partly) through online engagement, especially on social media sites like Twitter, where users can quickly and easily discuss the news and events relating to politics.
The Benefits of Social Media
The rise of digital media in general and social media in particular has changed the way that politics is reported and engaged with by the public. The speed at which information is disseminated via social media means that events relating to politics can go viral very quickly, with the entire country — or at least the relevant section of it — knowing about and discussing an issue or a candidate before the mainstream news even notices.
This phenomenon, known as ‘Information Overload’ has created a demand for ‘Newsjacking,’ where individuals or organizations use a news story to launch a marketing campaign that connects with, and draws attention to, their products or services. The key is to find a way to connect the dots between your brand or product and the current news story, so when someone scans the news and sees your name or company’s name as part of the story, it’s essentially free advertising.
The Future of Political Betting
Thanks to the rapid expansion of legal gambling in the U.S. and the growing interest in the state of politics among both the general public and sports fans, political betting remains a potentially lucrative market for savvy gamblers. As more and more people become interested in the state of politics, the opportunity to place a wager on the outcome of an election or an event that will affect the balance of power in Congress grows with it.
However, it’s not just about winning money — although that might be fun — the important point is that through proper management and use of analytics, one can glean valuable information from the relative success (or failure) of their political betting strategy. For example, if a sportsbook rep tells you that during an election season it’s extremely difficult to beat the lines, then you know that it’s probably not a good idea to try and time your bet on the outcome of the election.
On the other hand, if they tell you that during an off-season it’s easy to beat the lines, then you might want to give it a try. Similarly, if they inform you that certain states have better odds than others, you might want to consider making a beeline for those states and using their odds to your advantage.
It’s also crucial to track the metrics that matter, such as how are you performing compared to what you’ve set as a goal, what types of bets are you making, and which types of sports are you choosing. Keeping a close eye on these metrics and using the information to fine-tune your strategy is the path to success in any area of life, including politics.