Sportsbooks Waiting for 2020 Election to Become Official Before Paying Out

Former Vice President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 election, and while a sizable portion of the country is still trying to comprehend that, those that put money on the election are trying to get their winnings. Unfortunately for those that put big money on Joe Biden winning in 2020, some sportsbooks have decided not to declare an official winner just yet.

Keep in mind that bettors wagered a record 300 million dollars on the 2020 election, which is more money than last year’s Super Bowl, and Floyd Mayweather versus Conner McGregor. Now, one would think that sportsbooks around the world would be more than happy to deliver the winners their money, but they seem to be waiting for Trump’s bizarre legal challenges to be over.

Some sportsbooks waiting for Trump to concede

“The winner of the 2020 presidential election was and continues to be the biggest event in Bovada’s history,” Bovada political oddsmaker Pat Morrow wrote on November 7. “While we appreciate that various media outlets have projected a result, these results are not official.” Morrow says Bovada will pay out on Biden as the winner when and if Trump concedes or “exhausts his legal challenges and pending recounts.”

While Donald Trump and his defense team have lost many of their legal challenges, the administration continues to file lawsuits in hopes of overturning the 2020 election results. Trump even gained some ground in the state of Pennsylvania, where the courts agreed to discard mail-in votes that were sent in after November 9th. The reason for this is that Trump claimed they weren’t labeled properly.

Despite this victory, Donald Trump still lost a different lawsuit that claimed 9000 votes were invalid due to lacking information. Republican lawmakers also argued votes that arrived after election day in Pennslyvania should be disqualified, but the Appeals Court shot that down too. Trump’s defense team even alleged that Democratic cities were counting illegal votes, which was thrown out as well for lacking evidence.

“We still have not graded a winner,” Adam Burns, sportsbook manager of BetOnline, told the New York Post “People who bet Trump says it is not over. People who bet Biden say it is. This makes for a tricky situation where we have to be sure. It’s not like a football game. If Biden comes in, it’s a big win for us,” Burns told the Post, explaining that BetOnline’s customers favored Trump overall. “If Trump is declared the winner, we will take a bath.”

When will sportsbooks payout?

As for the chances of the Supreme Court being asked to weigh in on election controversy, Trump himself has admitted that it would be exceedingly difficult to accomplish. Not only would Trump’s team have to bring up a significant challenge to the election results in a lower court, but the lower court would also have to uphold the ruling, which then allows them to ask the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court can then decide whether they want to hear the case or not, and make a ruling from there.

For those wondering when the results will likely be official, there are several events that need to play out first. The first is a vote by the electoral college on December 14th After that, a joint session of Congress will meet to tally the votes and hear any objections to the results. If all this plays out smoothly, Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20th and officially becomes President.

In the end, it looks like sportsbooks around the world aren’t going to pay out until this whole thing is official. Whether that comes during the Electoral College meeting or the joint session of Congress remains to be seen, but it’s obvious that this isn’t over yet. It’s also obvious that a decent chunk of people still believe Trump can win and aren’t willing to part with their money yet.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.