Licensed sportsbooks in two states are ready to take wagers on the 2020 Oscars after receiving the approval of their respective gaming regulators.
For the first time in Indiana and second time in New Jersey, amateur critics can put their money where their mouths are and bet on the Oscars at legal betting sites. The odds are up at multiple sportsbooks in both states and entertainment connoisseurs may now place their wagers.
The 2020 Academy Awards ceremony takes place this Sunday, February 9th at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center. The show gets underway at 7 PM CST / 8 PM EST and will be broadcast live on ABC.
Indiana Approves Oscars Betting for the First Time
In Indiana, DraftKings and FanDuel requested approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) last month to offer bets on the 2020 Oscars. The IGC granted the request, but warned the approval is conditional.
IGC executive director Sara Tait said the IGC would be on the lookout for any wrongdoing:
“We conducted a review and determined that the request meets the requirements of statute and GIC standards and approved the requests.
Should circumstances arise that undermine the integrity of certain activities, it is within the IGC’s discretion to change course based upon new information.”
The Academy Awards have since been added to the IGC’s list of approved sports wagering events.
All four of Indiana’s licensed sportsbooks have posted 2020 Oscars betting odds:
Second Year of Oscars Betting for NJ Sportsbooks
Last year, New Jersey sportsbooks took about $750,000 worth of wagers on the Academy Awards.
Ten NJ sportsbooks are accepting Oscars bets:
- 888 Sportsbook
- Caesars Casino Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Sportsbook
- Bet365 NJ
- FOX Bet
Oscars Betting Categories
Most sportsbooks in both states that have approved wagers on the awards are now taking odds on the winners of all 24 Oscars categories:
|Best Picture||Best Director||Best Actress|
|Best Actor||Best Supporting Actor||Best Supporting Actress|
|Best Animated Feature Film||Best Cinematography||Best International Film|
|Best Production Design||Best Adapted Screenplay||Best Original Score|
|Best Original Screenplay||Best Original Song||Best Film Editing|
|Best Visual Effects||Best Animated Short Film||Best Documentary Feature|
|Best Short Documentary||Best Live Action Short Film||Best Costume Design|
|Best Makeup & Hairstyling||Best Sound Editing||Best Sound Mixing|
DraftKings Sportsbook has taken it a bit further than most with additional markets allowing for totals betting and matchups pairing movies against one another for total Oscars won.
For example, you can get -137 on 1917 winning five or fewer Oscars or +100 for it to win six or more. DraftKings offers similar totals markets for Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Parasite and The Irishman.
The matchups markets pit two moves against one another with odds on each to win more or tie. For example, one matchups market puts 1917 against Parasite to win the most with the following odds:
- 1917 to win more: +670
- Parasite to win more: +800
- Both movies to win the same amount: +400
Other matchups at DraftKings include:
- 1917 vs. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
- Parasite vs. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
- 1917 vs. Joker
- Once Upon A Time in Hollywood vs. Joker
- Parasite vs. Joker
What About Nevada, WV, PA, IA, NH, OR and RI?
Nevada regulators have long prohibited wagers on anything other than competitive sports. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the Nevada Gaming Control Board has not received a single request from a sportsbook to offer wagers on the Academy Awards since it denied such a request back in 2012.
Sportsbooks in West Virginia, Iowa and Pennsylvania are similarly prohibited from taking wagers on the Oscars and other entertainment-style events. Regulations in each state restrict licensed sportsbooks to booking wagers on events that are explicitly sporting related.
In Pennsylvania, Pa. Code § 1401.6 on permitted sports wagering activities limits operators to a specific range of professional and collegiate events. The PA Gaming Control Board may approve “other types of wagers” but has so far declined to use that ability to authorize Oscars betting.
Similarly, Iowa’s updated list of approved sports wagers is limited purely to athletic leagues and explicitly prohibits wagers on pre-determined events.
WV sports betting regulations do not specifically mention entertainment betting, but do note that sportsbooks may only accept wagers on sports events and other events for which the outcome can be verified, the outcome can be generated by a reliable and independent process, the outcome is not affected by any wager placed and the event is conducted in conformity with all applicable laws.
DraftKings has a monopoly over mobile betting in New Hampshire and is not taking any wagers on the Oscars this year. The NH sports betting law specifically authorizes wagers on sporting events and appears to leave no room for entertainment-style betting on other types of events.
Oregon authorized sports betting without passing any new legislation and now offers mobile wagering through the Scoreboard website/app. So far, the Oregon Lottery has opted to offer sports betting on professional sports only.
In Rhode Island, sports betting is managed by the state lottery and is offered through a single provider, Sportsbook RI. To date, Sportsbook RI has not delved into non-sporting events such as the Oscars.