The dangers of betting on world events
The whole Wisdom of Crowds kick has made online betting exchanges the new “in” thing. The NYT‘s John Tierney was so impressed by the fact that one of the exchanges called each of the 50 states correctly in 2004 that he fretted he was inaugurating his column “just as the job is being outsourced.” But ...
The whole Wisdom of Crowds kick has made online betting exchanges the new "in" thing. The NYT's John Tierney was so impressed by the fact that one of the exchanges called each of the 50 states correctly in 2004 that he fretted he was inaugurating his column "just as the job is being outsourced." But a great piece on the invaluable PoliticalBetting.com points out one of the dangers of betting on world events: How do you decide what actually happened?
Obviously, if you’re gambling on something clear-cut like who will be the next French president, it is fairly simple. But when you start wagering on more subjective matters, things get complicated – and fast. As the article points out, Trade Sports is refusing to pay people who bet that North Korea would test a missile by the end of July 2006 because the betting contract stipulated that the Pentagon would have to verify it. The Pentagon hasn’t done so, even though the White House has.
So, those who like a good gamble are probably better off sticking to elections and the like. If you want a tip for the day, I’d say that there’s a better than 2.6 percent chance of Barack Obama being the Democratic presidential nominee—Annie Leibovitz doesn’t photograph just any senator—so buy that contract. But do so at your own risk. Passport is not responsible for any losses you may incur.
More from Foreign Policy
America Is a Heartbeat Away From a War It Could Lose
Global war is neither a theoretical contingency nor the fever dream of hawks and militarists.
The West’s Incoherent Critique of Israel’s Gaza Strategy
The reality of fighting Hamas in Gaza makes this war terrible one way or another.
Biden Owns the Israel-Palestine Conflict Now
In tying Washington to Israel’s war in Gaza, the U.S. president now shares responsibility for the broader conflict’s fate.
Taiwan’s Room to Maneuver Shrinks as Biden and Xi Meet
As the latest crisis in the straits wraps up, Taipei is on the back foot.