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Paddy Power Removes Obama Assassination Odds Following Public Outcry

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Nov 9 2008 - 11:06am

Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power, has decided to remove odds on President-Elect Barack Obama being assassinated during his first term.  The offering was met with mostly disgust from the media and even competitors. 

"We have no interest whatsover in betting on the possible death or serious injury of any politician (or anyone else for that matter) in any circumstances," said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.  "I cannot imagine why any reputable bookmaker would even consider taking such a bet or any punter contemplate placing one." 

Initially Ireland's largest bookmaker refused to pull down the odds.  The bookmaker rejected calls to withdraw the controversial offer, claiming it was a nonsense to suggest that their stance could actually encourage anyone to go out and try to kill Mr Obama. 

"The online gambling industry typically does not offer ‘death pool' type wagers," commented Gambling911.com Senior Editor, Payton O'Brien.  "The industry has evolved way beyond that point so there was quite a bit of disappointment when this story first broke.  Paddy Power is like the Virgin Group of online gambling and one would expect this firm to be more responsible." 

In Dublin, Shelia Paskman, a spokesman for the American Embassy in Ireland, said last week upon learning of the bet option: "This is completely inappropriate." 

"I have a feeling there is a lot of second guessing now in the Paddy camp," O'Brien surmised.  

Paddy Power does not accept bets from US citizens. 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com

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