Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The newest game of chance

May 17, 2024, 7:00 AM

Get a load of the newest form of gambling....

Get a load of the newest form of gambling. (Canva)


Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — If you watch sports on TV you can’t help but notice gambling is on the rise.  Not here in Utah, but across the country more and more states are permitting sports betting. But that’s only the beginning.

Overseas gambling websites have transcended sports and now allow people to bet on almost anything. Oddsmakers are setting odds on the Presidential election, Trump’s VP choice, you can bet whether he’ll go to jail by election day.  On this site I’m scrolling: put up your hard earned money if you think you know how many tweets Elon Musk will post this month. You can even bet on which cat on Instagram will be the first to be worth a billion dollars.

It’s insane… and you can’t place a bet.  First, because this kind of gambling is still illegal in the US, and all gambling is against the law in Utah. But these gambling companies are trying to wedge their way into the U.S. Not as gambling sites. Because no no, that’s illegal. Oneway to get around the rules is to call your betting site a “predictive market.” Declare that it’s not a game of chance when people are making educated guesses about the future. So far the federal government has yet to bite on the idea. But the lobbying continues. These sites keep trying.

Last week, the gambling industry was rejected when it applied to have predictions traded on the futures markets like corn, oil, or soybeans, if you could imagine traders in the pit in Chicago screaming “selling two Trump! Got Trump… Two Trump! Biden… buy three Biden!”

This is the future. In nearby Canada, these sites are even taking bets on the weather. I asked Kevin Eubank: maybe we should go on a field trip to Vancouver and lay some money down on sunshine. Come on baby sunshine.

We’ll get rich, retire.  

But no, Eubank rained on my parade. He’d rather be on television.

Jeff Caplan is the host of Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Facebook and X. 

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The newest game of chance