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Entries in Betting (2)

Tuesday
Jan222013

Gamblers Betting Near Record Amount on Super Bowl

Larry French/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gamblers are betting what could be a record amount of money on Super Bowl XLVII.

It's still too early to predict exactly how much money will be riding on the line come Feb. 3, but experts say the total being wagered in Las Vegas alone could approach the all-time Super Bowl record -- $94.9 million -- set back in 2006.

"It's an intriguing match up because the coaches are brothers," says Jay Kornegay, vice president of Las Vegas' Superbook, the world's largest race and sports betting book.  "The Ravens, the hottest team, may not have a large fan base, but they certainly add an intriguing element.  There's the fact Ray Lewis is retiring.  It's one of the better teams versus the hottest team."

It's hard to predict how much money ultimately will be bet, says Kornegay, because about 80 percent of all wagers get made in the last few days before the game.  Still, he says, he's expecting this year's Super Bowl to come very close to the record -- probably between $92 million and $93 million.

And that figure, he says, represents "a drop in the bucket" compared to total U.S. betting on the outcome, almost all of which is illegal.  The only legal place to place a Super Bowl bet in the U.S. is Nevada, though New Jersey is working to legalize sports betting at its 12 Atlantic City casinos despite a federal ban.

The line in Las Vegas right now, Kornegay says, has the 49ers a 4-point favorite.  That will likely change as the bookmakers attempt to even out the betting before game time.

As in past Super Bowls, so-called proposition bets -- wagers on such specific things as how big the point spread will be, how many touchdown passes will be thrown by a given player, or whether either team will score in the first five-and-a-half minutes -- are extremely popular, and can represent, Kornegay says, anywhere from 10 percent to as much as 50 percent of total betting on the game.

Although Superbook will eventually offer 20 pages of such betting possibilities -- some 300 in all -- Nevada bookies are restricted to offering only those propositions whose outcome can be documented on the field of play.  So, for instance, Superbook cannot take bets on how long it will take Alicia Keys to sing the National Anthem.

"In the state of Nevada," Kornegay says, "we can't take the real crazy ones."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov062012

On Which Candidate Are Gambling Bookies Betting?

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- We know how Karl Rove and James Carville are betting on the election. But how about Vinnie The Pipe, Hot Horse Herbie and Nathan Detroit? Gamblers have long shown themselves to be accurate predictors of U.S. presidential elections. So, who are they betting on this time — and by what margin?

They're betting on Obama. By how much depends on what group of gamblers you ask. Some of the biggest can be found laying down presidential bets on gambling websites such as Intrade (based in Ireland) and on online U.K. bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill. Presidential betting doesn't take place in Las Vegas (at least not legally), since U.S. law forbids it domestically.

Intrade and the two English bookies, however, being based overseas, aren't subject to that same restriction. Carl Wolfenden, exchange operations manager for Intrade, tells ABC News it's a common misconception U.S. citizens can't bet on presidential elections.

Nearly three quarters of Intrade's presidential bets (73 percent) come from the U.S., he says. Though credit card companies block payments from U.S. gamblers, they can pay by check. "Americans can do it," he explains. "It's just inconvenient."

Intrade has taken bets on the past two U.S. presidential elections. How accurate have gamblers been? "They've been pretty good," says Wolfenden. In '04 they bet on Bush and correctly called results in all 50 states. In '08 they predicted Obama and got 48 states right (they bet wrong on Missouri and Indiana).

This year, bettors at all three online book makers favor Obama. Ladbrokes gives him odds of 1-to-5 (versus Romney's 7-to-2). William Hill scores them, respectively, 2-to-9 and 16-to-5.

Presidential betting options have grown more exotic in recent years, notes Marketwatch. For instance you can now bet not just on the general election but on the number of votes each candidate will rack up in the Electoral College. Intrade on Monday offered odds on whether or not Romney would release more tax returns. If he had, you'd have collected 1,000-to-one.

Some of the juiciest odds apply to which candidate wins which state.

Though killings can be made on some state bets, the state market, says Intrade's Wofenden, tends to be thinly traded. "We've been very happy with volumes on the main market but a bit surprised and disappointed by the state markets," he said, though he's not sure why. "There are some very exciting states. Virginia and Colorado are still toss-ups." A really bold gambler, he says could "punt" and bet on Obama's winning North Carolina, where polls have him losing by a substantial margin.

Who'll win Ohio? Intrade gives a 71.8 percent probability to Obama's winning; 30.3 percent to Romney.

Bookmakers already are taking odds on the 2016 election, with Ladbrokes giving 3-to-1 odds that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, compared to 200-to-1 for Chelsea Clinton and 100-to-1 each for George Clooney and Michelle Obama.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio