Predictions of which North American city will ultimately land Amazon’s planned, much-hyped second headquarters have been all over the map. In May, Moody’s Analytics rated Austin the top contender for becoming home to the new HQ; by December, the Wall Street Journal was evaluating the city’s odds as rather poor, while Inc.’s rankings of the top six put Austin third, behind Atlanta and Chicago.
Lately, Atlanta and Boston seem to be hovering at the top of most prognosticators’ lists, while, at least by one account reported by the Austin American-Statesman’s 512Tech blog, Austin dropped off the list entirely (a fate that would not disappoint many a jaded Austinite).
Now, it could be back at No. 1, at least according to one possibly meaningless metric. Several local media outlets, including the Austin Business Journal, have recently reported that the Irish betting site PaddyPower has moved Austin to the top of the list with Atlanta, with both cities getting now having 3-to-1 odds of the best odds of reeling in the internet powerhouse.
The site now has Boston, with 7-to-1 odds, at No. 3, while Washington, D.C., New York City, Portland, Ore., and Pittsburgh, Pa., all follow with 14-to-1 odds.
Betting sites are frequently some of the sources consulted by people in the business of predicting all kinds of things, including U.S. presidential elections—which, according the ABJ, PaddyPower predicted Hillary Clinton to win in 2016. Obviously, gambling odds are by nature imprecise tools for fortune-telling, as are the wider array of “betting sites, shipping experts, investors, and people familiar with Amazon” that Inc. consulted in its analysis, although a wide sampling such as the latter is likely to yield more accurate results. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to note that people are betting on Austin. Again.
• Could Amazon unveil its city shortlist for HQ2 by Friday? [Curbed Atlanta]
• Amazon headquarters decision imminent? Boston could soon make shortlist [Curbed Boston]