Legal wagering on the annual Oscars awards is about to become a reality for the first time, with online bookmaker PointsBet announcing this week that it will offer betting on the 91st Academy Awards on February 24.

The markets PointsBet have made available for wagering include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Customers will be able to place bets up to $1,000 on each category.

The firm’s US CEO, Johnny Aitken, commented: “We’re thrilled to become the first US operator to offer betting on the Academy Awards. The Oscars are one of the biggest events on the annual viewing calendar and Oscars pools have long been incredibly popular, so giving users the opportunity bet on who they think will win Best Picture or Best Actress will add yet another layer of excitement to the viewing experience.”

PointsBet added that it was able to offer Oscars markets after the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) paved the way in a decision to allow betting on the event. “Because entertainment markets like the Oscars are restricted by the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC), Las Vegas sportsbooks have never been able to make those markets available for betting, thereby allowing unregulated offshore sportsbooks to enjoy a de facto monopoly on such betting markets,” it said.