Crypto Betting Site Under Fire for Titan Sub Betting Market

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There have been reports that the blockchain betting site Polymarket was facilitating betting on the Titan submarine tragedy and had accepted at least $220,000 of bets on what the outcome would be before the vehicle’s implosion was confirmed.

The website was allowing people to bet on whether the submarine and its crew had survived and said that it would payout “positive” bets as long as the vessel was recovered.

The betting market was widely criticized on Twitter, and when the media outlet Gizmodo reached out to Polymarket, the betting site put forward an argument claiming that the market can be of “actual value to those worried for their family members.”

Polymarket added, “That is a far more valuable service to them than sensationalist media coverage: with our markets, at least they understand the true probabilities.”

However, it is very rare for betting operators to accept bets on people’s lives. Even bookmakers that like to stretch the rules a bit, such as Paddy Power accepting bets on whether then President-elect Barack Obama would be assassinated, have had to deal with the results of creating so-called “death pool” markets.

At present, there are efforts in the US to legalize betting on politics and entertainment, which is very popular in the UK and other jurisdictions. However, there are worries about it undermining the legitimacy of some contests. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that betting on human lives will ever become widely acceptable.

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