When it comes to movies during Oscar season, everyone’s a critic. And most people would be willing to bet they already know who’s going home with a statue on Sunday (Colin Firth, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman) and who isn’t (Jeff Bridges, Annette Bening, Jeremy Renner). But the bigger question is, how many of them would really be willing to bet — as in, make an actual cash wager — they are right?
A lot, it seems. According to some estimates, the Oscars are the most gambled upon non-sporting event in the U.S. after the presidential election.
And, as with most things in life, you have to pay to play. Ed Pownall, the entertainment and political trading director at Bodog.com, one of the largest online gaming sites, explains that there are two types of players when it comes to the Oscars: “Those looking to ‘buy’ money with very short prices (i.e., if an actor or film is 1/12 to win — you have to bet $12 to win $1, so some big players will bet $12K to win $1K thinking it is such a certainty). The other Oscar player is the genuine fan who will play with $5 to $10 and tend to back their favorite actor or film.”
If you fall into that second category, thanks a lot — you’re the reason the house always wins. Just because you loved, say, ‘Little Fockers,’ doesn’t mean you ought to risk your money on it. (Though it does mean you’re a candidate for a lobotomy.) Continue reading