The city of Toronto was once locked in a divisive casino debate regarding the future of gambling in the region as well as the province of Ontario. But any policy debate has been pushed aside as Toronto is now under the watchful eyes of international communities, due to the ongoing controversy surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine while in office, and is alleged to have been involved in a number of other scandalous activities – including trying to cover up evidence that would have proven his illegal drug habit. Despite the scandal and the overwhelming calls from Torontonian, Canadian, and international scrutiny, Ford refuses to step aside from his job as mayor, and city council is left with little power to convince him to do so.
As a result of the unprecedented scandal and the worldwide attention on the mayor, the online gambling and sportsbetting site Bodog.ca is adding the scandal to its list of potential betting choices. Players are invited to hedge their bets on how the ongoing scandal will unfold or conclude by December 31, with various odds on possible endings.
Interestingly, the odds are even, and thus provide the smallest payout on the “Nothing, will remain mayor” option. The odds skew to 3 – 2 on the “Take temporary leave” option, increasing the size of the potential payout. However, the 9 – 4 odds on the “Resign as mayor” option suggest that the domain operators have little faith Ford will come to his senses before the end of the year.
Adam Burns, manager of the Bodog.ca sportsbook, says providing players an opportunity to bet on the Ford scandal was made given the stunning revelations over the last few weeks.
“We felt like this was a good time to do it because he says he doesn’t want to resign and people in Toronto want him to take a leave. The story’s taken a turn and some sort of decision has to be made.”
As of November 15, Ford has been stripped of his executive powers as mayor, and retains only the title, functioning solely as a figurehead. Despite the diminished role, the embattled mayor insists he will stay on, and could even challenge the council decision to revoke some of his powers.