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October 24, 2019, GMT+0000, 0:24 am
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Mars Mission Props: A Total Blast or a Spaceship-Sized Ripoff?

Sportsbooks do not simply offer odds on sporting events. There are always a variety of markets for gamblers who enjoy making predictions but don’t feel like making a sports wager. A betting site’s non-sports odds might include elections, entertainment (such as films, TV episodes, and music) and “proposition” bets on world-historical events.

One of the most “red-hot” current wagers at any sportsbook is the Mars mission category. Bovada and other sites are giving bettors the chance to gamble on the Final Frontier, predicting the year and the circumstances under which the first person will meet the God of War face-to-face.

Bovada’s market “Will a Human Set Foot on Mars by 2025” is currently at (+275) for “Yes” and (-450) for “No.” The world-famous betting book is also offering a “First Organization to Charter Humans to Mars” prop-futures option, with Elon Musk’s Space X at (-350), Blue Origin at (+400), Boeing at (+600), and President Trump’s so-branded “Space Force” bringing up the rear at 14-to-1 payoff odds.

It’s no secret why the Space Force is such an underdog – even if the program gets off the ground flying (to coin a phrase) by 2025, there will be a push from the Pentagon to focus the tech on national security and not on selling tickets to consumers who want to visit the Red Planet.

There’s one major drawback to Mars betting, however, which is the time factor. Even if the gambler successfully predicts the outer space adventure, chances are her wager will not pay off for years upon years. While the sportsbook has no guarantee of turning a profit from any one market, Bovada’s “futures” lines on a Mars mission truly live up to their label by allowing the house to collect free capital on placed bets…and then not have to pay off any winning slips until 2021 or 2022 at the very earliest.

It may be fascinating to handicap a cosmic betting market such as Mankind’s maiden Mars mission. But laying down the money now – in 2019 – might wind up making the chance of a payoff feel like science fiction.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

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