Following the success of ‘in game’ gambling on football matches, online betting agency Paddy Power has begun an experiment in what it calls ‘true life betting’. A pilot project took place over the weekend via a network of webcams following Steve Douglas’s stag weekend in Exeter.
‘Punters had a variety of options,’ said Paddy Power marketing director Mike Falder. ‘£10 would have become £25 if you’d backed the favourite Ray Marsh at 5/2 for First Rhyming of Stag with Shag, or if you’d taken part in spread betting on the time of the First Wimping Out of Kayaking Stakes, selling at 28 minutes would have netted you a tidy profit.’
On the Saturday night, online gamblers also wagered heavily on the Maudlin Drunken Monologue Stakes and Most Blatant Gawping at Women Young Enough to be Their Daughters Hurdle, both of which took place in and around a nightclub in the centre of town. Results are still coming in from the party’s Sunday lunchtime visit to a beer festival followed by a trip to the races at Newton Abbot, where betting on their betting took place.
With over £10 million turning over on the weekend, analysts have hailed the experiments as a success. Some online gamblers, however, remain sceptical.
‘I thought I’d won big on the Crassest Comment to the Hen Party Dressed As Disney Princesses At The Next Table Handicap when my 14/1 shot Tony Brown asked the fat girl dressed as Snow White if she’d eaten the seven dwarves,’ said disappointed John Wade, who followed the meeting from his bedsit in Northampton.
‘Imagine my disappointment when the stewards ruled that the actual winner was 33/1 outsider Chris Stringer asking Little Bo Peep if she would like to blow his horn. How can that be worse? It’s bloody ancient, that is. I tried to appeal but they didn’t want to know. It’s almost as if betting is fixed to ensure the bookies always win.’