PLACE YOUR BET$ !
By DARCEL CHOY Thursday, February 28 2013
PLAYING on Trini’s penchant for “placing a bet” on almost every event, be it horse racing or who would win best actor and actress at the Academy Awards, local racing pools have offered odds on who will be the next head of the billion-strong Roman Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict XVI, who shocked the world when he announced his resignation earlier this month, delivered his final address as Pope yesterday at St Peter’s Square before thousands of people. The papal seat will be vacant from 8 pm Italian time (3 pm local time) today and Benedict, who will from today be known as “emeritus pope” will live a life of prayer within the Vatican walls.
The intrigue now surrounding the first Papal resignation in over 600 years and who will be the next Pope has not gone unnoticed by betting shops in Trinidad with Goodwood Racing pool advertising in Newsday’s Monday edition, in the Sports Section, odds on a range of bets in such categories as: Next Pope; Papal Name of Pope; Length of Conclave; Country of Next Pope; Age of Next Pope and Number of Ballots Held.
Bets are usually placed on sports but given this historic Papal resignation, the betting service saw it fit to offer odds on who will be the Catholic Church’s next leader. Ironically, while the Catholic Bible makes no specific mention on gambling and whether or not it is a sin, the Bible references money, the winning of, being the sole purpose of gambling.
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13).
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10), are two readily identifiable references to money in the Bible.
At Goodwood Racing Pool, the odds for Archbishop Angelo Scola, the Italian candidate, are 11 to one, which equates to $3.75 for every $1 played/gambled. The other Italian, Tarcisio Bertone’s odds are six to one, which is $7 for every $1 played.
Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson’s odds are seven to one or a $4.50 payout for every $1 played on him becoming Pope. Canadian Cardinal Marc Quellet is a nine to one odds, with $5.50 for every $1 played. The last two candidates are Nigerian Cardinal Franciz Arizine and Cardinal Leonard Sandri from Argentina, with odds of 12 to one which equates to $13 in winnings for every $1 played.
Persons can also place bets on what would be the Papal name of the next Pope be. The odds are one to one for ‘Peter’, four to one for ‘Pius’, five to one for ‘John Paul’, 12 to one for ‘Benedict’ and ‘John’ and 16 to one for ‘Joseph’ or ‘Josephius’.
There are also bets on the length of the Papal Conclave which is where the College of Cardinals convenes to elect a new Pope by casting of secret ballots. The odds for that are two to one for one day, four to one for two days, three to one for three days, six to one for four days and seven to two for more than four days.