New Jersey and Indiana allow betting on the Oscars

Are you a film buff? Are you really good at just knowing what film will win Best Picture or who will be named Best Actor at the Oscars? And finally, do you live in either Indiana or New Jersey? If so, now you can place your bets on the Academy Awards winners. These two states will allow you to do just that, now that the nomination ballots have closed.


Both New Jersey and Indiana are allowing legal sportsbooks to offer odds and take bets on the Academy Awards such as the best actor, best director, and the best-supporting actress. For some reason, Nevada is not offering legal betting on the Oscars. However, the state’s sportsbooks are offering Oscar odds for entertainment purposes only. Perhaps next year, Nevada will take the stage for Oscar betting too.


Betting on the Academy Awards already takes place at many offshore and European sportsbooks that serve the US illegally. The gradual legalization of betting on the Oscars is good news for gamblers in the United States.


Indiana Takes Center Stage for Oscar Wagers


Indiana had approved bets being placed on the Academy Awards, as a component of the gambling laws which came into effect in September, 2019. Indiana law allows people to bet on non-sporting events as long as those events can meet a set of integrity criteria. The Indiana Gaming Commission indicated that they expect that DraftKings and FanDuel would be the first two online operators to offer odds on the Oscars.

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Indiana bookmakers will offer odds in six major categories at this year’s Oscars. The list of winning categories includes Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Director.


While the state of Indiana is new to the world of Oscar wagers, this is not the only non-sporting event that is likely to draw a huge number of wagers in the coming months. The Indiana gambling laws also make it legal for people to bet on elections as well.


New Jersey is Ahead of the Oscar Race


New Jersey had begun offering Oscar betting before last year’s awards ceremony. New Jersey officials reported that close to $750,000 was wagered on the Academy Awards, allowing the sportsbooks to keep around 25% of that money.


The Garden State will once again offer anyone in New Jersey the opportunity to wager on the Academy Awards this year. It is anticipated that DraftKings, as well as other sportsbooks will offer Oscar odds and take bets. DraftKings is expected to offer odds in at least a dozen different categories.

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It is interesting, however, that betting on the Academy Awards is not part of the sports betting law in the Garden State. Instead, betting on the Academy Awards falls under the category of an online casino game, according to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.


Last year, just a few days after state regulators OK’d legal Oscars betting in New Jersey, all of the odds on the Academy Awards were taken down by New Jersey sportsbook operators. There was no clear-cut reason given why the Department of Gaming Enforcement asked the sportsbooks to take down their odds, or if the sportsbooks would ultimately be allowed to book the Academy Awards.


However, one possible reason for last year’s about-face was that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which sponsors on the Academy Awards, asked the Garden State not to take wagers on the Oscars. Hopefully, betting on the Oscars will go smoothly this year in New Jersey, and film buffs will have their chance to wager on the event.


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