August 5, 2005

Gasoline to hit $3 a gallon: wanna make a bet?

By Richard Valdmanis

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The largest sports betting site on the
Internet expanded Friday into the energy arena, offering
gamblers a chance to bet on soaring U.S. retail gasoline

"Record gasoline prices are affecting everyone, so why not
let people bet on it?" said spokesman Kyle
Fratini. "We've been thinking about this for months."

The online betting site, which normally focuses on
mainstream sports like football, basketball and soccer, is
giving gamblers a chance to bet on whether gasoline will reach
$3.00 a gallon in New York or Los Angeles by the end of the
year, with 30 to 1 odds.

On Friday, average gasoline prices in Los Angeles were a
lofty $2.616 a gallon, up more than 20 percent from last year
and among the highest in the nation, according to the AAA's
daily survey.

AAA's survey will be used by as the
benchmark for its bets.

Nationwide, gasoline prices are zipping along just over
$2.30 a gallon, within 2 cents of the record peak hit July 14,
as oil refiners are forced to pay up for record world crude oil
prices of over $60 a barrel.

Also up for wager: Will the average price of gas in the
United States reach $2.35 per gallon by Labor Day? Will the
average price of gas in the U.S. reach $2.40 per gallon by the
end of the year?

Fratini said maximum bets on gasoline will be around $500,
though the site allows for bets in the thousands of dollars for
sports like football.