Betting on bigots

Last night, I logged into the politics section of the Paddy Power gambling site and placed £10 on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to be the first to say the word ‘bigot’ in the leader debate that is taking place this evening live on BBC1 television.

I got odds of 4/1, which I thought is not a bad bet as one of the leaders is bound to talk about the #bigotgate scandal from yesterday and why not the person who caused all the fuss?
But it made me think back to earlier this week and a conversation I had with Thomas Kiessling, the chief technology officer of Austrian gaming giant Bwin. I was in Vienna on Monday and chatting to Thomas and his team about some of their future plans. Bwin is a leader across Europe in online gaming, poker, and sports betting though they are not known extensively in the UK as we have a very well developed market here already.
One of the new ideas Bwin is rolling out this year – after the busy World Cup period – is social gambling. Imagine I had just placed my Gordon Brown bet on the Bwin site instead of with their competitor. Instead of coming here and telling people about my betting on a blog, the site would automatically tell my friends via a variety of social networks – but it would tell them as a “challenge”… Mark thinks this is going to happen and he challenges you…
So it’s a great tool for promoting their business, but it’s also fun for me as a user because my friends are involved in what I am betting on – and they see what I win too.
It’s a real shame the Bwin service won’t be ready before the World Cup, and I believe they are limiting the initial roll-out of social gambling to France anyway, but when they do start offering it here I’ll probably be a customer. I’d love to have a punt on England winning a game knowing that my friends can see what I’m doing and possibly encouraging them to bet against me.
Social betting seems to be less about gambling and more about entertainment. A trip to the bookies will never be the same again.

Bwin Vienna

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The top players will not be around for world cup 2010 This list is up to date ENGLAND Bobby Zamora, Owen Hargreaves, Ben Foster, Paul Scholes BRAZIL Ronaldinho, Adriano ITALY Toni, Alessandro del Piero, Mario Balotelli, Franceso Totti, Antonio Cassano FRANCE Patrick Vieira, Karim Benzema, Samir Nasri ARGENTINA Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, Juan Roman Riquelme GERMANY Kevin Kuranyi, Christian Gentner, Marcel Schafer and Sascha Riether
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