Wagering on War - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/5/03

Wagering on War

The potential for war with Iraq is generating a lot of debate. In fact, it's such a hot topic, betting on war is now a popular trend on the Internet. For years people have been betting on sporting events like horse racing, football and baseball. Now, some are taking gambling to whole new level. Online bookies are now taking bets on when the U.S. will attack Iraq.

Since there's been sports, there's been betting on sports. And now BetonSports.com is offering gamblers something a lot bigger than a ball game to put their money on. "The reason BetonSports.com has put up these political war propositions if you will, is because it's just what our customers have asked for," says BetonSports.com Operator Eddie King.

Online bookies are now taking bets on when the U.S. will attack Iraq, down to the very minute. As America prepares to wage war, gamblers are wagering on war. And that's something many Americans, like veteran Jerry Dickson, feel is tasteless and tacky. "I believe it's not only sad, but pathetic. We're talking about human lives here. We're not talking about the sports arena, a football game, a boxing match or something like that. This is human lives," says Dickson.

Along with making wagers on when the war will start, you can also bet on Saddam Hussein's fate. For example, odds are two to one that Saddam will become a U.S. prisoner of war. Odds are one-point-five to one that Saddam will be killed. Odds are 1.75 to one that the U.S. won't be able to find him. It's gambling most feel is unethical. "I wouldn't bet on it. To me, that's like betting on when someone's gonna die."

But BetonSports.com says it's big business. They say more than 4,500 people have already placed $300,000 in bets on the war. "It's not a death pool. We're not predicting how many soldiers are going to die or something like that. And we realize that war is not fun, but again this is something our customers wanted us to put out there," says King.

Still odds appear wagering on war is more unacceptable by the majority than acceptable.

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