January 14, 2010

Irish bookie taking bets on Sarah Palin's news gig

Two days ago, word came out that Sarah Palin will be joining FoxNews, one of the largest US television news broadcasting networks. Palin has been a key name in the US political scene since the 2008 presidential candidate John McCain chose her to be his running mate. Palin is the former governor of the state of Alaska.

Palin’s new post at Fox News is as a news commenter – a role which many feel she lacks qualifications for. One skeptic is PaddyPower, the largest online sportsbook in Ireland, which is now taking bets that she won’t last a year.

There are actually two bets being offered. The first is “When will Sarah Palin lose her Fox News position?”, and the sportsbook is giving 8:1 odds that she’s gone by September. The second wager is a bit more interesting – it’s called “First Minority Group Sarah Palin offends”, and it lists 15 different odds, from 4:1 for Gay/Lesbian/Bi-sexual to 25:1 for Jehovah's Witness. Interestingly, the site lists the Irish as one of the least likely to be offended. PaddyPower says this second bet will be settled on “the first public apology Sarah Palin makes on Fox News”.

Paddy Power is also giving 5:1 odds for the 2012 US presidency – she ties with Hillary Clinton for fourth place. Palin is also getting 50:1 odds as the next replacement for Simon Cowell on the popular television show American Idol.

While online sportsbooks obviously focus on sports matches and events, it is becoming more common for these side bets to show up, covering major world events, elections, television programs, and more. Commenting on this trend, PaddyPower spokesperson Ken Robertson says, "We did in fact offer a number of betting markets on Tiger Woods, the most popular of which was the value of the potential Woods divorce settlement."

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