The Growing Craze of Novelty Betting in Australia
When you think about betting markets, what comes to mind? Racing, ball sports, boxing and big events currently taking place are usually the things people consider first. Who will be the next James Bond and who will survive this season of Game of Thrones aren’t quite the markets people expect to see on bookmaker websites.
However, these areas are actually becoming more popular and the categories are getting even wackier as a result. Sportsbet has embraced novelty betting more than most, boasting markets on everything from interest rates to The Bachelorette to when Taylor Swift will find her next boyfriend – obviously, only the important issues. Sportsbet’s Public Relations Manager Christian Jantzen says interest in novelty betting is growing faster than ever thanks to the popularity of online gambling.
“Novelty betting is definitely growing in Australia and punters are keener than ever to have a flutter on politics and reality shows that they’re watching,” Jantzen said. “You don’t see any big bets on novelty market as they’re designed for a bit of fun and entertainment.”
Novelty betting has been a part of the fabric of betting companies for a long time, but the digital age makes it easier for people to access them – even if it is only just to view the categories. Coming up with markets for punters in most cases is as easy as checking what sporting events are around the corner, but Jantzen says the process is a little more creative for novelty betting.
“The PR team works with our novelty traders to come up with the markets,” Jantzen said. “We find that our markets create interest from the media as well, and we’re regularly quoted in articles too. “The emphasis is really on punter interest.”
Laurie Oakes provides one of the most well-known examples of the media gaining interest in novelty betting. Sportsbet provided a market on what colour tie the political commentator would wear during the broadcast and Oakes got wind of it. He threw a spanner in the works by changing his tie at every ad break, resulting in Sportsbet paying out all colours.
One of Jantzen’s favourite novelty markets was simply predicting how the world will end. “Alien invasion would’ve been the strangest betting option in that market,” he said. “I mean, how hard would it be to collect if you won? This was obviously created for a bit of PR, with all bets voided and money returned if the world didn’t end by the end of the following year.” Thankfully those who dabbled at a world ending alien invasion got their money back and hopefully they weren’t too upset at their punt not delivering.
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Writer at the Australian Betting Organization
Nic studied at Monash University and is currently working as a sports journalist. You'll often find Nic at the pub enjoying time with friends while watching UFC and WWE.
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