After New Jersey became the first state to allow wagers on the Oscars, gaming regulators are offering another go when the 92nd Academy Awards air on Feb. 9—which upwards of 19 million Americans are expected to watch.
Many of the state’s 10 in-person and 19 online and mobile sportsbooks – spread across two racetracks and seven casinos – will accept bets on Oscars’ 24 categories this Sunday, according to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, which regulates gambling in the state.
All bets have to be placed before the event starts, and wagers can only be made on the awards themselves, “rather than things like how long the broadcast will last, who will a winner thank, or a dress malfunction,” said Leland Moore, a spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General’s Office, out of which the DGE operates.The big six Academy Award categories are Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
Similar to last year, gaming regulators put a $1,000 limit on the payout patrons could win and bet.
“Depending on the odds associated with a long-shot choice to win, a bettor could end up winning more than the maximum $1,000,” the DGE stated. “Conversely, the odds on a heavily favored choice could be so low that a bettor would have to risk significantly more than $1,000 in order to win a payout of the $1,000 limitation.”
In 2019, the DGE reported that patrons bet $747,696 on the Oscars; a slither of the $320 million wagered during the month of February when the Oscars took place. Patrons won $564,179, and the rest went to the house, according to the DGE. But gaming analysts and industry insiders said they were satisfied with those numbers.
“It’s kind of a novelty,” SportsHandle.com Editor-in-Chief Brett Smiley told NJBIZ last year. “I don’t know how many people want to wager more than a few bucks. [It’s] absolutely not a money-maker.”
Some of the online sportsbooks taking part are DraftKings Sportsbook, which runs the online pool for Resorts Casino Hotel; U.K.-based William Hill, which runs internet wagering at Monmouth Park Racetrack, Tropicana Casino and Resort, and Ocean Resort Casino; and FanDuel, which operates the sportsbooks at the Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment racetrack.