Those who tuned in to watch the entertainment event of the year also made plenty of Oscars bets online, according to early reports from casino and betting sites this morning. While most casinos in the US were happy to post odds but not to take bets, the online sites were open to take bets for weeks beforehand and they saw a huge amount of business, even more so than in previous years.
“We’re up 20 percent from last year,” says Kevin Bradley, sports book manager for Bovada. Interestingly enough, he says that a certain amount of the money coming in to sites like his is from industry professionals, who presumably know enough about the way that Hollywood and the Oscars work to be able to predict the results with some degree of accuracy. Though their identities were not revealed, some even spoke out about the fact that they now bet on the event regularly, thanks to the fact that it can be quite lucrative to do so if you have the right idea about something that everyone has missed.
“I already had a rooting interest, and money just always makes that rooting interest all the more exciting,” says one director, who started betting on the Oscars in 2010 after he had a good feeling about The Hurt Locker. “And, you know, football’s over. Gotta bet on something.” A producer also spoke about his experiences with gambling – though he managed to predict Jeff Bridges’ win for Crazy Heart in 2010, the odds were so bad that he had to put down $1,000 just to make a win of $100. He got in earlier this year, managing to get odds of 8-1 on Argo – which, right before the event, had managed to race ahead to become a 1-2 favourite.
The sites pay close attention to a lot of factors in order to decide who is most likely to win, giving players a chance to break away from their slot machine games for this one night of something different. Forerunners like the Golden Globes have a huge effect on the odds that you can get for certain awards.