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12-15-2007, 11:46 AM
Ron Paul "Money Bomb" Watch


While the news media continues to talk about Barack Obama passing by Hillary Clinton in the early primary state polls and Mike Huckabee seemingly coming out of nowhere to overtake both Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani in the very vulnerable Republican race for the 2008 White House, all eyes this weekend (at least when it comes to the bookmaking community) are focused on who many consider to be a long shot candidate - Ron Paul. That long shot, however, is the focus of a much ballyhooed "money bomb" on Sunday forecast by oddsmakers to reel in around $6 million.

"The $6 million mark is where the oddsmakers have set the shortest odds," says Payton O'Brien, Senior Editor of Gambling911.com.

Bookmaker.com had been offering odds on the range of money taken in on Sunday. By Friday evening they had ceased taking any more action on this bet for reasons unknown.

The range was as follows:

How much money will Ron Paul raise on December 16th?

- $1-3 million 3 to 1

- $3-6 million 5 to 6

- $6-10 million 11 to 10

- Over $10 million 2 to 1

Sportsbook.com continues to take bets on how much Ron Paul's money bomb will reel in on Sunday with the OVER/UNDER set at $6 million and the favorite being the OVER.

Heading into Saturday morning, Ron Paul's campaign needed only another half million to meet their $12 million goal set for the 4th quarter of 2007. Considering a previous money bomb brought in more than $4 million in just a single 24 hour period, that half million seems like chump change.

The Ron Paul blimp, scheduled to fly over the early primary state of South Carolina on Sunday is garnering national attention and plenty of search inquiries at the Gambling911 website.

Catching Up in the Polls

In some of the early primary states, Paul has already squeaked into double digits (South Carolina, for example, he's at 11 percent). Both Romney and Giuliani are only a few percentage points better.

"All it takes is another 5 percent to cut into the top three," points out O'Brien. "The vast majority of registered voters claimed they were still undecided. He's very much in this thing and the oddsmakers are all over Ron Paul right now."

As are the gamblers, who have been taking full advantage of the Ron Paul "Money Bomb" bet at Sportsbook.com.

"There has been a lot of action on this offering and we were forced to move the line up," said Dave Staley of Sportsbook.com.

The fact that two of the most prominent online gambling establishments have jumped on the Ron Paul bandwagon speaks volumes. Bookmaker.com is the oldest established North American facing online bookmaker (established in 1985) and the biggest in terms of bet volume taken in (the company takes some of the highest bets). Sportsbook.com is the largest online bookmaker catering to North America in terms of number of customers. They were established in 1997. Both companies operate from the online gambling Mecca of San Jose, Costa Rica.

It's Personal For Online Gambling Interests

For Sportsbook.com in particular, the Ron Paul bet could be personal. That company was forced to go private late last year after a shock piece of legislation was passed during the wee hours of the last session of Congress. It was the Port Security Bill but some sneaky lawmakers with special agendas (and with the help of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist) managed to sneak an unrelated online gambling prohibition measure to that bill (complete with an exception of horse racing). Ron Paul was one of only a few Congresspersons who voted against the bill.

"Millions of people in the online gambling community want Ron Paul to win," explains O'Brien. "Poker players, sports bettors, they are all spreading the word amongst each other that Ron Paul is their man to ensure their favorite activity becomes legalized."

In an interview with Gambling911.com, Ron Paul said “I believe strongly that the internet should not be regulated by the federal government and believes even more strongly that people should be free to engage in the activities they wish, as long as they are willing to take responsibility for their actions.”

Paul has also managed to tap into one of the most important (and little talked about) aspects of concerns for US citizens these days, the ability to work in a bi-partisan fashion. Republican Ron Paul is co-sponsoring a bill drafted by Democratic Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, to repeal the online gambling prohibition.

Right now online gambling is stuck in a quagmire of sorts as a legal challenge to the prohibition has been heard in a Supreme Court with a temporary restraining order requested by Internet Freedom organization iMEGA.org.

Polls Can be Deceiving

There are some good signs for Paul, according to a report filed on KansasCity.com “because of his success in online fundraising and the passion about him among his supporters,” said Richard Hertz, a pollster for California newspapers and televisions stations and the creator of NextGenPolitics.com. “So far you haven’t seen in the polls a translation of that enthusiasm, but it could still happen. This is a very unsettled race.”

Supporters like Deb Wells, a legal researcher from Kansas City, look at polls skeptically and instead see a populist groundswell of activity. She has given his campaign more than $1,000. She organized several Ron Paul gatherings through meetup.com. Today she’s heading to Davenport, Iowa, to knock on doors for him.Never active in politics beyond voting, this fall Wells was intrigued by a “Google Ron Paul” roadside sign.


Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher CCostigan@CostiganMedia.com or Email Here

Originally published December 15, 2007 11:05 am EST