Before we review election betting in the current US race, we must ask: is it ethical to wager on the outcomes of elections? The answer must be yes, if we consider that politics is riddled with gambling to begin with.
Voters take a huge gamble when they elect a candidate to power, betting that their winner will be able and willing to put the best interests of their constituency at heart, in financial, legal and social matters. Voters also wager that their election choice isn’t more interested in self-enrichment, or abusing power to subvert the law.
The Gambling doesn’t Stop There
Wealthy individuals and corporations are doing no more than placing a bet when they donate large sums to political candidates; if the bet comes off, they expect the incumbent to support laws and policies that will allow their patrons to get their stake back, with interest. When patrons hedge their bets and support all opposing candidates equally, the return is usually a good deal better than the red/black choice on a roulette table.
Often, ordinary voters and wealthy campaign financiers are betting on completely opposite outcomes. When one side wins, the other side can lose big. On review of the scandals arising from corporate interference in governments around the world over the past few decades, the winners in election betting are usually the richest and those least encumbered by ethics. So it seems no more than fair to give the punter in the street a crack at making some money out of the process as well.
Election Betting Review; Is it Legal?
While the logic above should be more than enough to convince any reasonable observer, especially if the reasonable observers are all keen punters, it doesn’t always sway legislators. The situation is under review in many democratic countries all over the world, but legal access to online election betting, as with online sports betting, is still a matter of different rules for different jurisdictions. It is up to each punter to determine the laws in their home state, before they register at any online betting sites.