• SBC’s new webinar series kicks off with an in-depth look at political betting from a bookmaker’s perspective.
  • Political betting is only available to US bettors at offshore sportsbooks.

NEW YORK – SBC, the Sports Betting Community network, is launching a new web-based series catered to sports bettors, bookmakers, and industry analysts.

As a leading news and information outlet for the wagering industry, SBC often hosts conferences, exhibitions, and seminars. They even operate a sports betting hall of fame.

However, the most accessible and valuable product for the average bettor is the company’s webinars.

One such webinar series, called Betting on Sports, will be produced every two weeks. The debut episode, “Rare Breed – Betting on Politics,” is slated for Wednesday, July 10.

According to the analysts at SBC, political betting represents “betting’s last authentic trading market.” 

What exactly that designation means is debatable, though it seems to be predicated on the fact that the space is based purely on subjectivity in a way empirical sports bookmaking is not.

In the United States, it should be noted that political wagering is not legal at any current state-licensed sportsbook. Further, this kind of betting is likely to stay off the books in the US as more and more states design and implement their sports betting regulations.

In order to wager on election odds, American bettors will have to use offshore sports betting sites. While generally safe to do so, you will want to check the laws of your state to make sure such transactions are legal in your area.

In most of the rest of the world, of course, political betting is legal, and the American political machine is a chief driver of the space.

Matt Shaddick, head of Ladbrokes Politics (owned by GVC Holdings), is part of the SBC webinar’s scheduled panel. In the UK, where Ladbrokes does business, political betting is allowed and regulated. Best of all, says Shaddick, it’s growing by leaps and bounds.

“Political betting has been an important market over the last decade for the Ladbrokes brand and has been reaching a bigger and bigger audience, especially since the 2016 earthquakes of Brexit and Trump. We are confidently predicting that the 2020 US Presidential Election will be the biggest non-sports betting market of all time…”

The main purpose of the “Rare Breed – Betting on Politics” program is to break down the challenges associated with political betting, largely from a bookmaker’s standpoint.

With traditional sports betting, lines are initially set based on empirical data (i.e. historical trends) surrounding specific teams and matchups. That tack has been refined over decades of bookmaking.

After the line is set and betting opens, of course, the line can move. But in having some viable, long-established frame of reference by which to set the odds at the outset, bookmakers are able to minimize their liability right off the hop.

However, when it comes to politics, history is less of an exact indicator, and setting lines can be difficult. Every major variable is utterly subjective and based entirely on public perception. It is not enough for bookmakers to look at historical reelection rates and incumbent performances and so on.

As SBC asks, “[H]ow do bookmakers gauge and value political information against a reactive world influenced by gossip, rumour and scandal?”

In order to find out for yourself, tune in to the “Rare Breed – Betting on Politics” webinar at 11:00 p.m. EST. Registration is free and available here.

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