What Is Contingent Contract Explain Its Difference with Wagering Agreement

Contingent Contract vs. Wagering Agreement: Exploring the Differences

In the field of legal contracts, two terms that often cause confusion are contingent contracts and wagering agreements. While both types of contracts involve some degree of uncertainty, there are important differences that distinguish them from each other. In this article, we will explore what contingent contracts are and how they differ from wagering agreements.

What is a Contingent Contract?

A contingent contract is a contract that is conditional on the occurrence of a particular event. In other words, the contract comes into effect only if a particular event happens. The terms and conditions of the contract are pre-negotiated, but the actual performance of the contract is contingent on the occurrence or non-occurrence of the event. Contingent contracts are prevalent in insurance, real estate, and business transactions.

For example, let`s say that Jack wants to buy a house. He finds a house he likes and makes an offer, but the sale is contingent on him being able to secure financing within 30 days. In this case, the contract is contingent on Jack securing financing. If he doesn`t, the contract becomes null and void.

What is a Wagering Agreement?

A wagering agreement, on the other hand, is a contract in which two parties agree to win or lose based on the outcome of an uncertain event. In simpler terms, it is a bet. Wagering agreements are considered illegal in most jurisdictions because they do not involve any legitimate business or commercial interest. The parties involved in wagering agreements are simply betting on the outcome of an event.

For example, if two people bet on the outcome of a horse race, that would be considered a wagering agreement. The winner would receive the money that the loser bet. However, since wagering agreements are illegal, neither party can legally enforce the contract, and the loser can refuse to pay.

The Differences Between Contingent Contracts and Wagering Agreements

Contingent contracts and wagering agreements are different in several ways. First, contingent contracts are legal, while wagering agreements are generally considered illegal. Second, contingent contracts have a legitimate business purpose, while wagering agreements do not. Contingent contracts are used to manage risk, while wagering agreements are simply bets on the outcome of events.

Another major difference between the two is that contingent contracts involve the performance of an obligation if the event occurs, while wagering agreements involve the payment of money based on the event`s outcome. In contingent contracts, the parties involved have a business or commercial interest in the contract`s outcome. In wagering agreements, the parties do not have any legitimate interest in the outcome, and the contract is simply a bet.


Contingent contracts and wagering agreements may appear similar at first glance, but they are fundamentally different. Contingent contracts involve an obligation to perform or not perform if a particular event occurs, while wagering agreements involve a bet on the outcome of an uncertain event. It is important to know the differences between the two as parties in a contract. Understanding these differences can help ensure that contracts are legally enforceable and that the parties involved have a legitimate business interest in the contract.