Want To Bet The Oscars? Head To New Jersey

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Las Vegas may still be the betting capital of the United States but if you want to wager on the Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, you’ll need to go to New Jersey.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) informed licensed sportsbooks in the state this week that they will be permitted this year to take bets on the Oscars, with the 90th edition of the films award show coming on Feb. 24 at 8:00 pm ET.

New regulations giving New Jersey more option

(Photo: PointsBet)

Las Vegas sportsbooks have pushed for the ability to take bets on the Academy Awards, but Nevada gaming regulations continue prohibit it, out of concern for potential integrity issues, such as the possiblity of abuse by people with information about category winners. This will be the first time that legal betting on the Oscars will take place in the United States; wagering on the event has been wildly popular for years at offshore and international sportsbooks.

New Jersey sportsbooks will be required to submit what wagers they plan to offer and what betting limits will be allowed to the DGE for approval before posting odds.

“After numerous requests from New Jersey customers on the availability of Oscars betting, we’re thrilled the DGE has authorized pre-event betting markets to be provided for this year’s event,” Matthew Primeaux, senior vice president of strategy and operations for The Stars Group, told ESPN.

Oscar odds already up at DraftKings

DraftKings Sportsbook wasted little time in taking advantage of the new regulations. Less than 24 hours after it was announced New Jersey could take bets on the event, DraftKings put up its Oscar odds. Roma is the +134 favorite to win Best Picture, followed by Green Book (+350) and The Favourite ironically at (+700).

As of Thursday, FanDuel, 888 Sports, BetStars and SugarHouse still didn’t have Oscar odds posted at their sportsbooks. PointsBet has joined DraftKings in posting lines.

The big issue here is as more states allow legalized sports betting, Las Vegas will need to work harder to maintain its share of the betting market. VSiN’s Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard discussed the topic on their radio show “Follow the Money.”

Oscars aren’t the only new thing to bet in New Jersey

It’s the second time in a week that New Jersey got approval to offer betting options not permitted in Las Vegas. Nevada regulations limits Las Vegas sportsbooks to Super Bowl props where the outcome is decided on the field.

In New Jersey, the state’s gaming commission has allowed oddsmakers to post props beyond the field of play. For example, New Jersey sportsbooks can offer props on which color the Gatorade will be that gets dunked on the winning coach.

“In New Jersey, we’ve been approved to do some things others have never been able to do,” said Johnny Avello, DraftKings’ director of sportsbook operations. “We can offer things like will Tom Brady announce his retirement after the game, will a player jump in the stands after a touchdown, or will the roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium be open for kickoff? We’re doing some things in New Jersey that the Vegas sportsbooks have never been able to do.”

Nevada still king when it comes to gambling

While having the ability to offer Oscar odds and different Super Bowl props is certainly a big win for New Jersey, don’t shed a tear for Las Vegas just yet. Based on recent reports, $5.01 billion was bet in the state of Nevada last year and sportsbooks won $301 million, both all-time records for the state.

Nevada is still the U.S. sports betting Mecca, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the future when different states introduce different regulations. Nine states now have legalized sports betting since the federal ban was struck in May 2018, and more are on the way. Nevada will need to get more creative or risk losing customers to other states in the coming years.

About the Author

  • Thomas Casale (tcasale)

  • Thomas Casale is the Editor of Sports Betting Content for RotoGrinders. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. Before coming to RotoGrinders, Thomas contributed to The Linemakers and worked as an editor at BetChicago. He's also provided fantasy sports analysis for multiple websites and print publications, while covering the NFL, college football, college basketball and MMA at different media outlets.