PredictIt Opens 2024 Presidential Betting Market, Biden Early Favorite, Trump Lurking
The 2024 presidential election is still more than 1,100 days out, but online political betting exchange PredictIt is already allowing its bettors to buy and sell shares of the outcome.
President Joe Biden said while campaigning last year that he was a transitional candidate, a notion that he would serve only one term. Biden’s goal is to bridge the presidency from former President Donald Trump to a younger star in the Democratic Party in 2024.
Still, roughly three years from when Americans will decide the next commander-in-chief, PredictIt bettors say Biden is the person to beat. The freshly opened market has the president’s shares trading at 29 cents. His predecessor Trump trails close at 26 cents.
VP Kamala Harris is third at 16 cents, and Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fourth at 11 cents. No other candidates are presently being traded. During the initial seven hours of the PredictIt market, more than 20,000 shares were traded.
A PredictIt market that has been open for several months asking which party will win the White House in 2024 has Democratic shares are at 53 cents, and GOP shares at 47 cents. Libertarian and Green party shares are at two cents.
PredictIt for Dummies
Since it’s been some time since we’ve covered PredictIt, here’s a quick recap.
Political betting in the United States is largely illegal. No legal sportsbook has been permitted to offer odds on the outcomes of elections or other political events.
PredictIt, however, operates legally in the US through a no-action relief letter it was issued by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission in October of 2014.
PredictIt is owned and operated by the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. The university utilizes PredictIt in a non-profit capacity, applying data to political research, forecasting, and polling.
PredictIt users are limited to betting up to $850 per trading market.
Better Luck This Time Around
PredictIt is hoping its 2024 election night goes much smoother than it did on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
With sports betting continuing to expand across the country, many Americans were surprised to learn that odds on the Trump-Biden outcome were not legally available. The 2024 betting odds — both on PredictIt and in the UK where such gambling is permitted — attracted an abundance of media coverage, including on election night.
As a result, PredictIt experienced unprecedented traffic to its online platform causing it to crash. The site going offline prevented traders from accessing their accounts on PredictIt’s most important night in its history. The exchange was down for more than 12 hours, eventually returning online late the next day.
In the lead up to this year’s election, PredictIt made significant upgrades and substantial investments to increase the capacity of the platform’s performance. Just as we saw historic levels of turnout in the election, we also saw historic levels of activity on our site,” explained John Philips, PredictIt co-founder. “We understand that this was incredibly frustrating to our trading community… I ask for your patience.”
Outraged users who lost money because of the crash voiced a different tone.
“You’ve had four years to prepare for this day. Four whole years … yet you guys still managed to screw this up,” declared PredictIt bettor Greg Ledet.
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