They say launching a tech company is a gamble in and of itself, but sometimes that just isn't enough to bet on.
An Antigua-based sports betting site called Bodog has opened up speculation on when Facebook will reach the milestone of one billion users around the world--and also whether the company will go public by the time this happens.
The odds are good for both of them. Bodog places 4/6 odds on Facebook hitting a billion users before January 1, 2012, and 11/10 on the company going public before reaching that user count. A release from the company said that it's more skeptical about the billion-user milestone occurring first because "in our world there's no such thing as 'almost guaranteed'," quoting remarks from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this summer.
Facebook recently hit 500 million users around the world and continues to grow fast, but a Bloomberg report earlier this week suggested that it will continue to delay going public, allegedly ruling out a 2011 IPO.
The whole thing is, in part, a big publicity stunt--Bodog has been known to capitalize on tech news in the past by launching bets for what company Google would acquire next (back in 2007, there were 3 to 1 odds that it would buy Facebook!), when Apple would supplant Wal-Mart as the biggest music retailer in the country, and naturally all things iPhone.
As a side note, Bodog says the odds are 500 to 1 that Paul Ceglia, the man who claims he owns 84 percent of Facebook based on a contract he once had with Zuckerberg, will get what he says he's owed.