In Las Vegas you can bet on cards, dice, slots, horses, football, baseball, hockey ... but you can't bet on the Oscars. You can't bet on who will be the last survivor on Survivor. You can't bet which pooch will take first place at the Westminster Dog Show. Thanks to a change in the local regulations, though, pretty soon you just might be able to make these and many other bets.
In late January, the Las Vegas Gaming Commission approved new rules allowing bookmakers to take bets on events other than sports. The events must be supervised, the results verifiable. They must also operate independently of the odds wagered on them.This opens up sports book locations to establish a betting market for competitions like the innumerable music awards, the Miss America pageant, even the National Book Award (I make the odds 2 to 1 in favor of Franzen).
It still pales by comparison with the British betting scene, though, where you can bet on almost anything, from the likelihood that Qaddafi remains in office in Libya to the odds that the American shrimp harvest hits a new high.
Prefer to do your betting online? The pool-betting website Betable allows you to bet on anything, as long as you can get some other punters to bet as well. Want to offer odds that Lindsay Lohan or Charlie Sheen ends up in rehab within the next 90 days? Someone might well bet against you. How about the chance that the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is canceled? The odds that Obama is caught with a smoke in his mouth?
You could bet on it, that is, except that U.S. laws forbid it. Those of you in the U.K. and the less regulated world can jump in, though. I'll bet you'd enjoy it.
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