Calling all movie buffs: For the first time, Americans can bet legally on the Oscars. Well, some Americans can wager on the Academy Awards and only under a couple of conditions.
First, you have to be in New Jersey. Nevada has never taken wagers on the Academy Awards and won’t be taking them this year. No other states where sports (and entertainment) betting is legal have yet to allow betting on the 2019 Oscars.
Second, it’s for this year only. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) received multiple requests from sportsbooks to allow wagering on the Oscars and decided to allow pre-event wagering for 2019 only. It remains to be seen if NJ will consider Oscars wagering for 2020. That will likely depend on how this year’s wagering turns out.
As with most first-time endeavors, Oscars betting in New Jersey has already had its hiccups. Sportsbook operators posted betting odds on Jan. 31 but were then told by the DGE to take down those odds and the markets were off the board by Feb. 2.
The DGE must have had a change of heart, however, as FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey began promoting Oscars odds once again on Feb. 4:
The Oscars ????— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) February 4, 2019
Odds to win Best Picture
Green Book +330
The Favourite +700
A Star Is Born +1100
Black Panther +1600
Bohemian Rhapsody +1800
Vice +5000 pic.twitter.com/gkwIvXyaN5
FanDuel currently offers odds for 16 different Oscars markets with anything from Best Picture and the Best Actor categories to the lesser talked about categories such as Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Film Editing.
The more popular categories all have a heavy favorite for 2019 with Roma coming in at -175 for Best Picture, Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) leading the way at -225 for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Glenn Close (The Wife) favored for Best Actress in a Leading Role at a whopping -500.
Those residing outside of the United States have been able to bet on the Oscars, as most European and offshore sportsbooks (such as Sports Interaction and Pinnacle) have taken wagers on the Academy Awards for years.