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Think Hillary Clinton will be president? Wanna bet on it?

(AP Photo/The Cromwell, Erik Kabik)

Odds are 200 to 1 that George Clooney will be the next U.S. president.

But if you want to make that long-shot bet, the only option is online through overseas brokers.

Nevada state Sen. Tick Segerblom (D) is reintroducing a bill to change that just in time for the ramp-up of the 2016 presidential campaign. Segerblom would allow gamblers in Las Vegas to put money down on political candidates, just like they do on sports teams. Politics is a kind of spectator sport, so we get it.

The effort is part of a larger movement afoot in Vegas to stop online gaming because it draws people away from casinos.

“You can bet on the Internet offshore, so it’s crazy not to be able to bet in Nevada,” Segerblom told the Loop on Thursday. “We always want to be number one. When people think of gambling, we want them to think of Vegas.”

Critics of the bill — it passed the state Senate but never passed the state assembly last year — argued that the bets might be used to influence or throw elections. Others thought it would dishonor or embarrass Vegas, which, as Segerblom notes, “is crazy given we’re considered Sin City.”

British gambling sites have the 2016 presidential odds posted. A popular one, Ladbrokes, has Hillary Rodham Clinton winning the election 6 to 4. Wanna place a riskier bet? Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has 80 to 1 odds.

“I’m not a Hillary person,” Segerblom said, “but I’d have to put my money on Hillary.”

Here’s the odds on the most buzzed-about candidates (and a few random outliers):

1. Hillary Clinton: 6 to 4

2. Marco Rubio/Chris Christie: 12 to 1

3. Jeb Bush: 14 to 1

4. Paul Ryan: 16 to 1

5. Rand Paul: 20 to 1

6. Elizabeth Warren: 25 to 1

7. Joe Biden/Bobby Jindal/Condoleezza Rice/Mike Huckabee/Scott Walker/Ted Cruz: 33 to 1

11. Cory Booker: 80 to 1

12. Bernie Sanders: 250 to 1

13. Clint Eastwood: 500 to 1

14. Nate Silver: 538 to 1 (Oh, British humor)

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.



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Colby Itkowitz · May 22, 2014

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