After almost two solid years of COVID-19™, we still haven’t seen Bet-1™.
And we’re starting to wonder why.
Remember, all the best Vegas election sportsbooks don’t just feature political odds. They’ve also got current events odds, entertainment odds, financial market odds, and more.
And while we’ve seen plenty of betting lines in those markets that have been influenced by the coronavirus (i.e. box office bets, TV ratings for certain lockdown binge-worthy shows, etc.), we’ve never actually seen a coronavirus betting line as such.
Even in the sports betting market where COVID now plays a fundamental role in starting lineups, travel scheduling, game delays, and the like, we’ve not seen a single wager with the Wibstur’s Word of the Century™ – or any variation of the Wibstur’s Word of the Century™ — in the proposition.
Actually, no. That’s not entirely accurate.
Back in the 2020 Trump vs. Biden TV specials, there were a few Presidential debate odds that featured the words themselves.
But these had nothing to do with the effects or impacts of the virus.
Instead, they were simple bets about which then-candidate would cite the issue first, what time in the program each one would first say some permutation thereof, or how many times a variance might be uttered in toto.
In fact, there were even some short-lived lines regarding whether or not then-VP Mike Pence or Kamala Harris would test positive, which were posted right around their scheduled debate last year.
But never once have we seen a betting line addressing the social or economic effects of the coronavirus, its various death tolls, and so on.
We haven’t seen a single wager about vaccinations, lockdowns, back-to-school mandates, unemployment rates, inflation indexes, or any of the thousands of COVID cottage markets that have sprung up to tamp the world down.
And that’s weird.
As arguably the biggest political issue of all time – and with a global impact that goes far above and beyond the fallout of any regional or global conflict in history – you’d think the bookmakers might take at least a little action on the phenomenon at this point.
You’d think enough people would be interested in putting some money on the general state of things.
So what gives?
We have a few ideas.
For one, there could be arguments made that COVID betting would be morbid.
And there’s some merit to that.
But nobody said coronavirus odds would have to focus on death numbers or infection rates.
Those are easy metrics on which to offer betting lines, to be sure. And the numbers are relevant to most people, besides.
Of course, it’s totally understandable that reputable online betting sites might not want to seem like they’re profiting off of death and misery.
Still, that doesn’t explain why the more ancillary coronavirus effects can’t get some action.
Vaccination rate totals, for example, would be an easy,
inoculate innocuous line with trackable, actionable outcomes.
Timelines of FDA approval on vaccines and/or therapeutics would be another.
An over/under on unemployment rates – as these are directly correlated to COVID-19 – would be yet another.
Inflation odds – particularly as various commodities like oil, beef, pork, dairy, etc. skyrocket – would be similarly trivial to host on the boards.
Or, you know, pick a restaurant chain, set an over/under for the number of stores to close by a certain deadline, and open up the betting.
That kind of thing.
Frankly, there’s no end to the types of bets that could be offered within the COVID framework, and it seems like – had these things been catalyzed by anything other than a contagion – we’d actually get those betting lines.
Thus, a desire by the best books to not be viewed as heartless money-grabbers is a good excuse to explain away the lack of a certain subset of COVID odds, but they don’t explain the full and total absence of all COVID odds.
Again, this is the issue of the century.
It’s basically World War III sans an actual visible enemy (depending upon whom you ask).
But such odds could be presented “tastefully.”
At least, as tastefully as any other entertainment betting line or set of celebrity divorce odds.
So what’s the difference?
Honestly, we don’t know.
It could be that offering such odds would simply be more trouble than it’s worth.
People largely bet on sports and politics (and play other real-money online gambling games) to get away from the depressing realities of the Real World™.
It is a terrible show, after all.
And “reminding” players of doom and gloom around every corner might not be the best tack.
Additionally, it bears pointing out another fundamental truth:
The best betting sites all rely on Google search to establish their prominence.
Legal international sportsbooks and casinos can’t easily advertise in the US, so ranking for search is a big deal.
If a site is viewed by the search giant as trivializing COVID-19 – if it echoes even a whiff of a breath of a sentiment that the coronavirus is something not to take seriously – downranking is all but guaranteed.
Delisting is unlikely, but as the old adage goes: If you’re not on the first page, you’re already delisted. (There’s probably a more catchy, pithy way to say that, but it’s Monday morning…)
Regardless of the why, it’s clear by now that the Biggest Issue Pretty Much Ever™ is almost completely off-limits to the betting public.
Then again, what are political props and election futures in 2021 if not coronavirus odds?
Every single election going forward – possibly for years, if not decades to come – will be a “referendum” on COVID and its effects domestically and internationally.
And maybe that’s close enough.
In this day and age, one degree of separation is basically full exposure.
They call that “contact tracing,” and you can trace it all the way to the political betting boards.
And from there, of course, you can trace it all the way to the bank.
2021 Joe Biden Presidential Mental Fitness Test Update
Will Joe Biden complete his first term as US President?
- Yes -175 (-175)
- No +135 (+135)
He’s already not President.
Year That Joe Biden Exits Office
- 2025 +110 (+110)
- 2022 +400 (+400)
- Not Before 2026 +400 (+400)
- 2021 +550 (+550)
- 2023 +750 (+750)
- 2024 +1400 (+1400)
2022, 2023, and 2024 – taken together – guarantee a winner.
A potentially small winner, but a winner all the same.
Will Joe Biden leave office via impeachment?
- No -1200 (-1200)
- Yes +500 (+500)
No change, and no chance.
Joe Biden Approval Rating On November 1, 2021
- Over 44.0% -120
- Under 44.0% -120
Throughout September, this wager bottomed out at 45% and then worked its way back up to 45.5% to close out the month.
Interestingly, Biden’s approval was exactly 45.5% when October 1 rolled around, pushing when we advised taking the over.
It’s difficult to imagine Biden’s approval ratings staying in the basement for another 30 days, but he is Basement Joe™, after all.
Still, we’d go ahead and take the over right now – before the line shifts upward and the odds narrow on your payout potential.