Political Betting in Canada
It’s one of the oldest styles of novelty betting in the world with its history dating back to way before the age of the internet. In the UK where licensed physical betting shops first started to appear back in the 1960s, the British have been betting on their own General Elections for decades.
In the digital age, the concept has spread right across the world and in Canada, the markets are open for players to get involved. With some high profile upsets in recent years, betting on politics has also hit the media due to some of the significantly high odds that have been involved.
If you’re new to politics and have tried other sports betting or if you’re familiar with the concept but don’t know where to look for markets, please read on and our guide will talk you through everything.
Most Popular Available Markets
It’s easy to use the United States as a guideline to political betting as they have markets open virtually all the time. And, at the time of writing this update in July 2020, those markets are busier than ever.
The most obvious political bet is on who is going to win and, in the case of the US, that means a straight choice as to which party will provide the next elected President. It’s a straight fight between Republicans and Democrats although there can always be the possibility of a third party coming along to split the vote.
It’s an obvious place to start but, before voting begins, there is a market for the next US President and it’s essentially in place on a permanent basis. At the top of that market are the favorites and the most likely candidates so, in the lead up to the 2020 vote, it’s a case of picking between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Below that, the names can get quite outlandish, depending on which sportsbook you are using. For example, a number of betting companies, including Sports Interaction, were quoting odds for Michelle Obama and Kanye West in 2020.
The United States provides us with the busiest platform for betting on politics but in the present day, most sportsbooks will provide global coverage.
Those firms that are dedicated to providing a strong customer experience in North America, such as Bodog, Sports Interaction, PowerPlay, and William Hill, will also quote extensively for elections in Canada. Winning party and next President markets are here too and they are the most active.
Away from either side of the border, you can usually expect to have general election betting right across the world. Germany, Russia, the UK, Sweden, Italy, France – the list goes on. Political betting is so popular right now that virtually all countries are picked up. Betting on the winner is the natural starting point but, like a traditional sporting market, betting on politics also provides the opportunity for some props.
Prop betting in politics is a diverse affair and the markets can range from predictable to outrageous. On occasions, particularly in a straight fight between two political parties, there is one clear favorite in the moneyline bet so you should consider the props if you want to seek out a little more value.
One of the most common markets relates to the number of seats won by each party. Depending on which sportsbook you use, this can be presented in an Overs and Unders format or, there could be a set of parameters – 10-20, 20-30, etc. A wider set of odds can be found in this type of bet and that’s one reason why it is so popular.
Similarly, a winning margin market is often put in place ahead of any national election. The objective is to identify which party you think is going to win and by how much. Once again, the options can be shown in an Over or Under format or as a set of fixed parameters.
Next leaders of political parties can also have markets attached to them and if there is speculation over anybody’s future, you can be certain that the sportsbooks will be picking up on the situation. In the United States, that type of market could relate to the Republican or Democratic nominees while in the UK, the bets are typically for the next leader of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties.
If there is any call for a new leader of a major political party, there will be markets to follow and bettors can look to take advantage.
Props can get a little crazy at times: Famously, one bookmaker based in the Republic of Ireland issued a market on whether the United States or North Korea had the biggest nuclear button. Markets such as these are really only there for the publicity but some members of the betting community like to get involved.
Elsewhere, some sportsbooks looked to get further involved with the publicity surrounding Kanye West and his bid to enter the Oval Office. In July 2020, Sports Interaction had odds on whether or not Kanye would win any seats in the 2020 election.
You may not want to waste your money on those bizarre betting options but political betting does feature some deadly serious props. Research is the key to uncovering the options and the best value here.
Points to Consider
Every area of a sportsbook’s platform requires research and betting on politics is no exception. This is particularly important if you are taking a bet on an event outside of your own country where you don’t possess that crucial local knowledge.
To help us on our way there are opinion polls in all parts of the world. These will generally come from various sources and the results can differ but they will always tend to be within a few points of each other. Study these polls before you commit to a bet in the straight, moneyline election winner market.
The polls can be proved wrong as President Trump confirmed in 2016 but they are the first port of call as far as that research is concerned.
Which Sportsbook to use
All of our recommended sportsbooks offer something in the way of political betting markets. The difference will lie in the choice of what’s available but there should be at least one bet available at any one time. The majority of those outlets will have a section clearly marked as ‘politics’ so it’s pretty obvious where you need to look.
With other sportsbooks, the markets in question may be listed under a section marked ‘specials’. Once you have identified which betting site you prefer, it will be easy to locate political betting markets and to come back to them when you need to.
Typically, those outlets that we have mentioned that are based in and have their focus on North America will tend to concentrate on political events in Canada and the US. That’s fine if you’re happy to focus on this region but for betting on politics on a global scale, it’s worth checking out the offshore providers.
Bet365, Unibet, and 888Sport are especially active when it comes to betting on political events from all over the world but, as we mentioned, all of our recommended sportsbooks should give you something to consider.
Take a look through the list, consider some prices and you will quickly start to establish your own preferences over a short period of time.
Remember that the top Canadian sportsbooks usually offer better bonuses and exclusive promotions if you fund your account using bitcoin.
- Betway100% Deposit Bonus up to $200Bet NowNew Canada customers only. Opt-in required. Bonus based on 1st deposit of $10+. You will get a 100% matched bonus up to $200 based on your first deposit. Full terms apply.
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To summarise, political betting is one of the oldest types of ‘novelty’ bets going. Even before the internet began, punters were taking a look at political markets and there are good reasons why they are so popular. Firstly, many feel that results have been quite easy to predict over the years. OK so there have been some notable upsets including Trump in 2016, Bush in 2000, and the Brexit Referendum in the UK in 2016 but, in the main, results tend to follow the opinion polls.
Meanwhile, those upsets have attracted a whole new audience to political betting because the long priced outsiders came through. The overall trend still sides with the favourites but there is that potential to land some winners at longer odds.
Betting on politics also provides good scope for prop bets. It isn’t just about the winner and the majority of sportsbooks will look to get involved with a range of side betting. This is often where the value can lie for those willing to do lots of research and to maybe take a greater risk.
The props can get a little crazy at times and the sportsbooks that list those outlandish bets risk the possibility of potential bettors being put off. This is a serious business with sensible markets in the main and those that put in the research should stand a better chance of making some regular and reasonable profits on the political betting markets.
Now it’s over to you to digest the information, pick out your preferred set of bookmakers, and join the many who are adding those political betting markets to their list of traditional sports.
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