Dennis Rodman, lover of North Korean vacations and predictor of popes isn’t really at the Vatican City to support the supposed black pope. He’s there because a gimmicky Irish gambling website, Paddy Power, organized his trip so that he can promote their special on papal betting. As you can infer from the above picture, if there is a black pope, you get the money you bet on a non-black pope back. Cool!And of course, because I am a gamblin’ man, I will analyze this from a bettor’s perspective. Papal betting isn’t the smartest bet out there. It’s like betting on the SWAC basketball champion, preseason, without looking at stats or rosters or even nicknames. But people bet anyway, because betting makes waiting for a pope fun. There are four favorites in the papal race, and only one of them is black, Cardinal Peter Turkson, from Ghana. He has 4/1 odds on Paddy Power. For that to be a good bet, you’d have to believe Cardinal Turkson has greater than a 20% chance of becoming the next pope. Papal race, analyzed.
This kind of stunt is typical of Paddy Power. They paid Danish footballer Nicklas Bendtner to wear Paddy Power underwear in Euro 2012. He was fined. They have offered strange, controversial prop bets, like odds on Barack Obama’s assassination (at 12-1 for just the first term, an awful bet). That of course gave people incentive to assassinate Barack Obama, which is very bad. They take bets on tiny sports like Rink Hockey, Surfing and Snooker. You can bet on lottery results in multiple countries. You can bet on their own virtual sports.
They give away free horse meat.
Add Rodman to the mix and you’ve got some serious Attention Whoring Firepower.
They also made this highly questionable and understandably banned TV ad.
And this (not banned) one, that received hordes of complaints.
They make obscene amounts of money.