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Where You Can Bet On Oscars 2021: Is It Legal In Your State?

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 3 mins

Where You Can Bet On Oscars 2021: Is It Legal In Your State?

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The 2021 Academy Award winners will be announced on Sunday, April, 25, and there will be legal betting on the outcome of multiple categories this year in a limited number of states.

Legal betting on the Oscars is a relatively new phenomenon in U.S. betting markets. It was first allowed in 2019 in New Jersey. Indiana also offered Oscar betting markets in 2020. More states are now joining in.

The 2021 Oscars will be unique for several reasons. The Academy Awards ceremony was pushed back two months on the 2021 calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which rocked the film industry and shuttered theaters around the world for months. This year, for the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences eliminated a requirement that nominated films be shown in theaters. It also expanded the period of eligibility; films released from Jan. 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021 are eligible.

“Nomadland” stands as the prohibitive betting at DraftKings favorite for best picture at -670 and for Chloé Zhao as best director at -2500. The late Chadwick Boseman is -2500 atop the best actor category for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The best actress field is the tightest among the traditional top six categories. Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) is +125, while Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) follows at +180.

Where Can You Bet On The Oscars In 2021

Right now, only New Jersey, Indiana and Michigan allow legal betting on the 2021 Academy Awards. Oscar betting is limited to moneyline action. At DraftKings, the amount bet on each category is also limited to either a maximum wager is $1,000 or a win limit of $1,000 per category – whichever is greater.

DraftKings and bet365 are offering odds on 23 different Academy Award categories in New Jersey for the 2021 Oscars. DraftKings is also offering Oscar betting on the same 23 categories in Indiana this year.

Michigan became the first state to add legal sports betting on the Oscars in 2021. The Michigan Gaming Control Board announced the move this week. In addition to the 23 categories being offered by DraftKings there, PointsBet is also offering best picture odds in Michigan.

OSCAR BETTING GUIDE: 2021 Academy Award Odds

Where Is Oscars Betting Prohibited In 2021

Betting on the Oscars is still more the exception than the rule in states where sports betting is legal. Some states have simply chosen not to establish betting markets on the Academy Awards. Others have outright banned them.

Pennsylvania limits sportsbook wagers to professional or collegiate athletic events. That means no betting on politics or awards shows like Oscars. The same rules apply in Illinois, where wagering is also limited to sporting competitions.

Other states are a bit more nuanced. In Virginia, for example, there is no specific prohibition against betting on events like the Academy Awards, but they are not legal yet, either. The Virginia Lottery would have to approve Oscars betting there. The same holds true for Iowa, where wagering on political events and elections is specifically banned. There is no regulation currently in the Hawkeye State to facilitate Oscar betting.

Meanwhile, regulators in Nevada have yet to approve live action on anything that was not tied to live sports without a predetermined outcome. That’s unlikely to change.

About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.