IRELAND – One gambling website is using the BP oil spill to spark some betting!
One of the biggest worries of the BP oil spill is the effect it will have on the surrounding ecosystem. Cleanup efforts will have to be massive and some experts believe that conditions will not be returned to normal. Many species are threatened and could be pushed to the brink of extinction. One gambling website is placing odds on what species will be first to become extinct as a result of BP’s oil spill.
PaddyPower.com is the website and the Kemp’s ridley turtle, an endangered species that migrates to the Gulf this time of year, is the odds on favorite to be the first to go. A $5 bet on the turtle would win $9 if it’s listed as extinct at any time because of the spill. The gulf sturgeon, smalltooth sawfish and elkhorn coral are more of a long shot and have payout rates of 20-to-1.
In a statement announcing the extinction pool, the Irish bookmaker said it hoped the betting would “highlight the environmental catastrophe” and the “sure bet” that it would lead to the loss of some marine species.
“We kind of have a very simple philosophy at Paddy Power – within reason if there is a very newsworthy event that people are talking about, people should be allowed to back up their opinion with some cash,” said Ken Robertson, a company spokesman.
The website also has an opportunity for people to place bets on who the next CEO of BP will be. Paddy Power also took bets on when the Icelandic volcano would stop erupting, and offers gambling on when the Large Hadron Collider will reach full power and what it will discover first: black power or dark energy. Odds on the collider discovering God are 100-to-1.
There were more than 50 bets placed in the first six hours of species extinction, Robertson said.
Oil in marshes and wetlands is what local officials and scientists have feared, saying it could place severe stress on wildlife and harm marine nurseries and breeding grounds.
“Once it gets into the marshes, it will be very difficult to get rid of,” National Oceaninc and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told reporters last week. “It is very toxic to many species at young stages, and fish and wildlife depend on estuaries as nursery habitat.”