Online gambling goes into overdrive

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Will online wonders never cease?

Yesterday’s Pacquiao-Bradley fight was a winner for sports fans and bettors in more ways than one.

The big winner was, of course, Pacman, who taught Tim Bradley a neat lesson in boxing. The American must have regretted taunting the Filipino in the run up to the fight, claiming that Pacquiao had lost his killer instinct. While he did not knock out the trash-talking Bradley, the pride of the Philippines did hurt him again and again.

And here is where technology comes in. Bet takers—online or otherwise—had Pacman the 2-1 favorite to win. In other words, a bettor places $2 to win $1. Big bettors would place thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, of course.


Back in the day, a bettor could only place bets up to the minutes before a fight started. Once Michael Buffer shouted “Let’s get ready to rumble,” the betting stations would close, and everyone would wait with bated breath for the results of the fight.

It’s no different from placing bets at the horse races. There’s no way bets can be placed once the horses have left the starting gate.

In the case of boxing, this is no longer the case. Gamblers or bettors are now able to place their bets as the fight progresses. This live fight betting is the latest innovation in online gambling, it seems.

As the fight progressed, it became clear that Pacman would very likely win. After the sixth round, he had begun to dominate Bradley who, after the fight, came up with some lame excuse that he had hurt his leg in the first round.

Yeah, right.

But back to the fight. Towards the ninth round, live betting had Pacquiao an 8-1 favorite to win. This meant that late bettors could still place $8 on Pacman, and expect to win $1. Not much, really, but as safe a bet as possible.

There are some questions about this act of betting when the betting is good. If one knew who would win, then it still makes perfect sense to put one’s money on the sure winner, even if the rewards would be relatively small.

First question is, what if live betting had been available in the first Pacquiao-Bradley fight? I saw that one on pay-per-view and was absolutely sure that Pacman was winning the fight for sure. Well, two judges thought otherwise. Despite the global howl that the Filipino great had been robbed, bettors would have been even more livid.

Of course, we Filipinos are not affected by this. Online gambling is still in its infancy stage here. But betting for or against a fighter or a team while the sporting event is ongoing does occur regularly, albeit unofficially.

Quote of the week:
“As technology advances, it reverses the characteristics of every situation again and again. The age of automation is going to be the age of ‘do it yourself.’” – Marshall Mcluhan

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