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Sunday, February 22, 2015


Click on my Emmy predictions, and you wonder, how could I be so accurate in selecting winners when I know nothing about the subject.  Well, this has all to do with viewing betting sites.   Oscar winners tonight, from Sportsbet (the lower the number the better the odds of gaining an Oscar):
Note that Whiplash and Selma have the best combined reviewers' and audiences' ratings, but each has only a 1% (to be explained below) chance of gaining the Oscar.  I plan to today see Birdman (40% chance), which means I will have watched the top six candidates this year by the time the Academy Award show starts on TV (8:30PM on ABC if you live in the East, but delayed in Hawaii at 7:30PM). 

  • Best Actor
    • Eddie Redmayne  1.25 (above with Stephen Hawking)
    • Michael Keaton  3.75
    • Bradley Cooper  17
    • Benedict Cumberbatch  51
    • Steve Carrell  81
In other words, Redmayne (44% chance) will probably win an Oscar.

  • Best Actress
    • Julianne Moore  1.02 (above)
    • Rosamund Pike  21
    • Reese Witherspoon  23
    • Felicity Jones  34
    • Marion Cotillard  67
Julianne Moore (just about 50% chance), from Still Alice, has a lock on the Oscar.  I plan to also go to Still Alice today, as much as I try to avoid a film that shows the sadness of Alzheimer's.

Glory from Selma at 1.17 is favored over Everything is Awesome from The LEGO Movie at 5 as the Best Original Song.  Best Director is close, with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu from Birdman at 1.67 and Richard Linklater from Boyhood at 2.10.  The effort that went into Boyhood was so awesome that I hope Linklater wins.  Hardly anyone ever sees those Best Foreign Language films, but Ida, from Poland, is at 1.40 and Leviathan, a Russian drama, at 2.75.

What do those numbers mean?  At the very top, the 1.57  stands for odds of 1:57 to 1.0.  The first number represents the total number of potential outcomes.  Thus, the odds of this person winning are 1 divided by 1.57 plus one or 1 divided by 2.57 or 0.389...or Birdman has about a 40% chance of getting the Oscar.  Selma and Whiplash, thus, have close to a 1% chance of prevailing.

  • There is no U.S. Federal law against gambling online.
  • Some states do have laws, but it is rare for a player to be prosecuted.  Web sites could  have a problem.
  • In fact, according to Federal law, it is illegal for websites to take sports bets over the internet.  But no law preventing you to place bets.
  • Banks cannot handle online gambling transactions.
  • Advertisements for online gambling aren't specifically illegal.
But here is the problem.  Our Feds make it difficult for players to get money in or out of an online casino.

  • Online gambling has annual revenues in excess of $20 billion.
  • You can use a credit card to place a bet or add funds to your account.
  • There are sites in the Caribbean that fence with the U.S. government about their operations.
  • France regulates and taxes sites.
  • Germany is mixed up.
  • Online gambling in India is complicated.
  • Illegal in Russia.
  • UK regulates and has about a billion dollar of action/year.
The economics of gambling:

If you can't read this, go to the site.


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