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U.S. Sportsbooks Offer Gambling Contests For Presidential Debate

Major Online Sportsbooks Offer Free-To-Enter Contests Surrounding Tonight's Debate Between Donald Trump And Joe Biden

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President Donald Trump squares off against former Vice President Joe Biden tonight in the first presidential debate of this year’s election season and gamblers will be able to bet on its outcomes.

Several U.S. sports betting companies are running free-to-enter contests that give its contestants a shot at taking home the lion’s share of a $25,000 or $50,000 prize pool. Those partaking will get to choose from a list of prop bets ranging from whether a candidate will wear a mask to how the two will greet each other.

Prop bets like these are found all over the sports world with one of the most common prop bet being how many points a player will score in a game. During the Super Bowl, prop bets are embraced by recreational gamblers as they can wager on the coin toss, the length of the national anthem, and which player will score the first point of the game, among many other options.

According to an Associated Press report, the political prop bet contests are being offered by FOX Bet, DraftKings and FanDuel. It is reported that as of Monday, there were already almost a half-million people entered between the three contests.

Betting on political happenings is illegal in the United States, which is why the contests do not require a monetary buy-in to participate. Last April, FanDuel’s West Virginia sportsbook briefly offered odds on the upcoming election, but took them down 15 minutes later.

Kip Levin, interim CEO of FOX Bet, told the AP that the point of the contest is to get more potential customers on the apps and possibly turn them into customers down the road as betting markets expand.

“As we’ve learned from states in which we operate legal sports betting, interest in wagering stretches beyond sports,” said Levin. “We also know that a lot of customers love the fun aspect of bragging rights with their friends and family, and that applies here too.”