June 26, 2023 2 min read


Crypto Wagering Site Criticized for Taking Bets on Titan Sub Tragedy

The Titan submarine imploded killing all crew members on board last week, questioning the nature of such expeditions but also angering people over some questionable betting market decisions

Gizmodo, a popular media outlet, reported that blockchain betting site Polymarket had seen at least $220,000 wagered on the outcome of the Titan tragedy before the news of the vessel’s destruction and crew members’ demise was known.

There Is a Time and Place for Everything

The prediction website basically asked whether bettors believed that the Titan submarine and its crew had survived, with the majority of consumers responding in the negative. Polymarket said that it would honor “positive” bets providing that the vessel was physically recovered

Twitter was quick to pick up on the betting market and criticize running what many called a gamble on people’s lives. Gizmodo did reach out to Polymarket which engaged with the publication and simply stated that the betting markets can be of “actual value to those worried for their family members.” Polymarket simply stated:

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

Running a death pool is rare though and it mostly doesn’t happen in the world’s biggest markets where operators understand the ethical and moral implications of making such a move. Even those bookmakers that tried to dance around the rules a little, such as Paddy Power’s suggestion in 2009 that President-elect Barack Obama might be assassinated have been forced to deal with, the fallout of creating “death pool” markets.

Do Not Turn Tragedy into “Infotainment”

The tragedy with Titan remains, with the US Coast Guard confirming on Thursday that the vessel had suffered a “catastrophic implosion” shortly after descending, killing all crew members on board. Markets outside of sports have generally been very popular with bookmakers that are not based in a heavily regulated jurisdiction. Presently, there are efforts to legalize politics and entertainment bets in some countries, including the United States, but there is serious opposition for fear of undermining the legitimacy of some contests. When it comes to human tragedy


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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