Skip to main content
Dow jumps 420 points -- its biggest gain since 2011. S&P has its best day of the year, up 2.4%.
The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
Inside Politics

Bets are off in Las Vegas

By CNN's Richard Quest

story.wheel.jpg
Las Vegas: Gambling capital of the world.
SPECIAL REPORT
Follow Richard's political adventure at  American Quest
YOUR SAY
E-mail us: Send your comments and questions to Richard Quest at: americanquest@cnn.com
Read a selection of  your e-mails,  and Richard's responses
SPECIAL REPORT
• The Candidates: Bush | Kerry

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- Think of a game. Any game. Now try to put a bet on it. There's a fair chance that in Las Vegas someone will give you odds and take your money.

On everything, that is, except the U.S. presidential election.

It is against the law in Las Vegas (and thereby everywhere else) to bet on the outcome of the race for the White House.

Why? No-one seems entirely certain, but it probably has something to do with it being unseemly to bet on something as important as the White House.

Some members of Congress believe all spread betting is immoral and should be banned. The presidential election is just the big enchilada in this respect.

But of course, Las Vegas didn't get to be the gambling capital of the world without being canny.

And even though you can't bet in the city, and no casino is giving you the chance, there are plenty of betting services that are offering up the odds on this years race.

So for instance, Web sites like Americasline are giving odds out on who will win on November 2.

And they show the two are absolutely equal.

The Web site makes it clear that the odds are being offered for information and entertainment purposes only and that using this information is a violation of federal law.

Not that will worry those overseas too much. Because what this means is that in places where on-line betting is allowed like the UK, or offshore betting jurisdictions like the Carribean, these odds are being used as a barometer for those who are betting on the outcome.

"I think it is absolutely ludicrous. " He told me. "You look at any place around the world, whatever country you want to go to and you can bet on almost anything. I think we should be allowed to bet on the presidency. It would be great fun."

And he is of the view a lot of money would be wagered. "Superbowl-type sums would be bet. Hundreds of millions of dollars" he says.

Well, he knows a great deal more about the subject than me.

Even though the odds mean no-one will make a fortune unless they bet a great deal of money, a quick non-scientific poll on the Las Vegas told me he might be right!

One woman and her husband wanted to bet $100 on Kerry (Last of the big spenders there.) Another man would bet a thousand dollars on Bush. One couple even got into an intra-marital bidding war. He wanted a grand on Kerry. She offered up three.

But proving that Las Vegas is the last of the big talking towns -- one man said if he had a hundred million dollars he would bet a million on Kerry.

Frankly I wasn't sure he had the price of a cujp of coffee. But he talked it well and probably could have talked me out of the busfare home.

Welcome to Las Vegas. Just don't bet on who will be president!


Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Panel: Spy agencies in dark about threats
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
Search JobsMORE OPTIONS


 

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.