2019 marks the first time that a state within the US can legally place a bet on The Academy Awards. Residents in New Jersey are the first, with more states expected to follow suit in the future. While many were under the impression that Nevada, home of Las Vegas, has done Oscars betting in the past, that isn't the case. New Jersey is being used as a test to see if it is popular, if so, we can plan on seeing it roll out to more states in the years to come.
FanDuel and DraftKings, along with about a dozen other sports books are opening up the Academy Awards for New Jersey. The New Jersey test is to see if the gaming commissions can expand their base with new clients ready to gamble away their hard earned cash. New Jersey is actively trying to widen their consumer base with the addition of the 91st Oscars. However, there are some snags that may seem unappealing to some pros.
Some of the major sports books are allowing bets on all of the prospective categories, but some are only focusing their attentions on the biggest categories, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. The problem is that it is already predetermined, so there won't be a whole lot of money to win. While all of the winners are a huge secret, there is the possibility that someone could figure out who they are or someone could leak that information out into the world, which one can easily see happening.
Since members of the Academy know the outcome already, the bets on the Oscars will be kept small. As of this writing, if someone in New Jersey wants to bet on Black Panther winning Best Picture, you can only bet a maximum of $3.88, which would give you a payout of $107. That's not bad, but it's not big money that the sports and horse racing brings in. With that being said, keeping it small will deter people from trying to cheat and it will allow people who don't normally gamble to have fun with a smaller amount to lose.
New Jersey is the only state allowing bets on the Academy Awards this year, but it seems that more states will be following suit if everything works out. For now, movie and gambling fans can check out apps like Tally, which don't take any money, but give out prizes to the person who guesses the most categories correctly. It will be interesting to see how far the Oscars gambling goes in the years to come. For many sports books, it seems like a no-brainer to earn some extra revenue. For now, you can always bet with your friends. This story was first reported by CNBC.