Are you a political junkie? Do you have a knack for predicting the next American Idol? If so, you can put your knowledge to the test by betting real money on the outcome of big events. In entertainment betting, you can bet on politics, reality TV shows, entertainment awards, and much more. All you need is a little money and an account at one of the big betting websites.

At the biggest betting sites, pop culture is the newest market for those of us who like to gamble on anything and everything. The premise is simple: sportsbooks create wagers based on current events and let you bet on how those events will play out. The next Presidential election, American Idol, the Oscars, and more make frequent appearances at online betting sites.  If this sounds like something you’d like to try, we have a list of the best websites for betting on entertainment events.

Why Bet on Entertainment Markets?

It’s fine to sit there and watch your favorite TV show, but it becomes a much more immersive experience to actually put money on the outcome. Adding money to the mix makes it that much more exciting. It gives you a vested interest in how it all plays out in reality.

Think about it like this. Have you ever had a friendly debate with your friends about who will be kicked off the show next or who will win the next big election? Ever challenge each other to a bet? Well, now you can bet on these things and actually get paid when you win.

One of the other fun things about entertainment betting is that there are so many options. If you’re not the biggest reality TV fan, you can always bet on politics, the weather, the Grammys, and sometimes even regular TV shows. Back when the creators of the Simpsons announced they were going to kill off the main character, most of the big entertainment betting sites offered wagers on who would be the one to die.

Finally, entertainment betting is just fun. That’s what it’s all about – entertainment. You probably won’t make a full-time living off entertainment betting, but you do stand a legitimate chance of making a little extra cash this year. It’s hard to beat watching your favorite shows and getting paid.

Types of Novelty Bets

Entertainment betting covers a vast array of ever-changing subjects. Sometimes it will lean towards reality TV; other times, it will be dominated by politics. It all depends on what’s happening at the moment. Here are just a few examples of the markets we have seen in the past.

Reality TV usually dominates the entertainment markets at betting sites. Shows like Dancing with the Stars, the Voice, the X-Factor, Big Brother, and Survivor have all been big ones in the past. Most of the reality TV wagers you’ll find are based on predicting either who will be kicked off next or who will win the whole thing.

You don’t have to be a meteorologist to succeed in weather betting. Heck, even the pros seem to get it wrong half the time. As the name suggests, weather betting is all about predicting the weather. A lot of weather wagers take place over entire months or seasons. Monthly rainfall and temperature averages are common.

As an interesting side note, some people actually use weather betting as a hedge. Farmers have been known to trade “shares” on the weather to help offset sweltering, crop-killing temperatures. A typical scenario is a farmer who has half a million dollars worth of crops that depend on mild weather, taking out a couple of bets on scorching weather. That way, he still gets paid if it does indeed get too hot for his crops to thrive.

The Oscars and Grammys are common entertainment fixtures. It’s easy to see why, too. We all have our favorite actors, and we think they are just guaranteed to win. So, we place bets and hope for the best.

It’s hard to even talk about politics these days without getting into a heated discussion. If you’re sure you have the know-how to predict how major elections turn out, you can avoid the hassle of arguing with coworkers by putting real money on the outcome. The key to doing well in political betting is to keep your emotions in check. Don’t bet on what you hope will happen; bet on what you think will actually happen.

Finally, most entertainment betting sites offer wagers on other random events. Basically, anything newsworthy is open to being bet upon. It might be the sex of the next royal baby, whether or not some actor will check into rehab, how a high-profile criminal trial will turn out, and much more. If it makes the news, there’s a chance you’ll see it listed on your favorite gambling site.

How Entertainment Betting Works

Most entertainment bets take one of two forms: futures and money lines. In wagers that have multiple possible outcomes, the future is the most common setup. The betting site will list every possible outcome and then give you the odds associated with each.

Let’s look at an old Dancing with the Stars bet. In season 17 of Dancing with the Stars, one betting website had a list of all the remaining contestants. Your goal was to predict who would be declared the winner at the end of the season. The top five contestants were listed like this:
• Corbin Bleu +175
• Christina Milian +600
• Elizabeth Berkley +600
• Amber Riley +250
• Leah Remini +1600

The odds are based on the betting site’s estimation of how likely each contestant is to win. In this case, Corbin Bleu was seen as the most likely, so wagers on him were paying +175. This means that for every $1.00 you wagered on Corbin, you would have won $1.75 if he did win. Looking at the other end of the spectrum, we have Leah Remini with odds of +1600. This means that for every $1.00 you wagered on Leah, you would have won $16.00 if she did win. So that’s how a futures bet looks in entertainment betting.

Moneyline wagers are used for entertainment events with just 2 (sometimes 3) possible outcomes. Examples of these would be whether or not someone will be acquitted, which politician will win the final election, and so on.

Let’s look at an election betting event for an example. In 2012, it came down to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Almost all of the betting sites had odds for these two hopeful Presidents. Here’s what the odds at one site looked like:
• Mitt Romney +160
• Barack Obama -180

Most major polls at the time were showing Barack Obama in the lead. The betting sites of the world took notice and gave him negative money line odds. This meant that you had to risk more money on Obama than on Romney for the same potential winnings.

In this example, Barack Obama was sitting at -180. This means that you had to risk $1.80 for every potential $1.00 in earnings. So if you put down a $180 bet on Obama, you would have won $100 after the election.

Mitt Romney was seen as the underdog in this election and was given odds of +160. This meant that if you had placed a $100 bet on Romney, you would have taken home $160 if he would have won the election.