May 1 2008 marks the date Las Vegas casinos will be accepting bets on the final numerical score assigned by Robert M. Parker Jr., arguably the world’s most well known and influential wine critic, to certain pricey and famous wines.
Casino patrons will be able to bet on the bottled, as opposed to barrel, score given by Mr. Parker to selected wines that have not yet been released.
For example, one of the first wines upon which a bet can be placed will be the 2007 Etienne Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne. Bettors will be able to wager on Parker’s first in-the-bottle rating of the wine that appears in his wine publication, The Wine Advocate.
An example of the wagering card is shown at the top of this page.
Critics have pointed out that the temptation for score manipulation, as well as misuse of insider information is so high that it will render this form of betting meaningless.
Three Fingers Tartaglia, representative for one of the casinos implementing the new wagering system next month, disagrees. “Mr. Parker has always had the reputation of maintaining the highest integrity in any situation. I doubt that he would risk that reputation or the loss of limbs or proboscis by engaging in unethical behavior, you know what I mean?”
Depending on how popular this type of wager is, the casinos are considering adding wager cards for other critics or publications, such as the Wine Spectator and Wine Library TV’s Gary Vaynerchuk.