January 17, 2013
Not exactly, but real-money online weight loss prop betting a new form of gaming
You wanna eat right and look good, but as a grinder living off table-side dining and buffet comps, it’s hard to stick with a plan without proper “skin” in the game. But now you can get paid to lose weight. Really. It works kinda like a tournament — you buy-in for up to $50, which creates a prize pool to be split amongst whoever successfully sheds 4 percent of their body weight in 28 days. Site operators take a small cut for handling the transactions.
Huh … an example of the new world of real-money online wagering that’s upon us? I did happen to learn about it through Facebook from a friend who works for Zynga.
Dietbet.com seems well-meaning and legit — with rules in play to prevent unhealthy behaviors, along with some general checks to keep cheating at bay. They swear it’s all legal … no problem taking online bets when the competition is a matter of skill, DB says. (Gee, why didn’t poker sites think of that!?) The site, which perhaps curiously is based in Manhattan, aka the DOJ’s Southern District of New York, does seem hesitant, however, to expand their weight loss “games” beyond the current structure of 4% in 28 days.
They call it “social dieting” … which kinda makes sense because if you’re committed to losing weight, then why wouldn’t you want friends who are all talk to contribute “dead money” to your prize pool? Supposedly 90 percent of the people who do compete get their money back and then some, with an average weight drop of 9 pounds, which is possibly the real reward for some. And I guess that makes it more like the inverse of a poker tournament — where 90 percent of the entrants don’t get paid to sit around and socialize while getting fatter.