$M in worldwide Papacy bets
Friday, March 1 2013
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LAST BLESSINGS: This sequential photo, shows from left, Pope Benedict XVI giving his last blessing as Pontiff yesterday at Castel Gandolfo in Italy be...
BETTING on who will be the next Pope is expected to reach in the tens of millions of dollars in the United States and parts of Europe as Pope Benedict XVI official retired yesterday, paving the way for a new leader of the billion strong Catholic faith to be elected.
In Europe, one of the Italian candidates, Cardinal Angelo Scola is the bookmakers’ favourite with odds at two to one to succeed “Emeritus Pope” Benedict.
Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson is second with five to two odds, while Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, is third with seven to two odds. According to a CNN article, Claire Davies, a spokeswoman at Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, said more than US450,000 ($2.8 million) in bets on the next pope have been placed following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI now known as Emeritus Pope.
In the United States, it has been deemed illegal to place bets on who will be the next pope as it is considered an election but unofficial pools have estimated betting to reach about $7 million as the Cardinals meet to select the next pope.
Locally, racing pools are also offering odds on who will be the next pope as well as what would be the Papal name of the Pope, the length of the papal Conclave which is where the College of Cardinals convene to elect a new Pope.
At Goodwood Racing Pool, the odds for Archbishop Angelo Scola the Italian candidate are 11 to one which is equalled to $3.75 for every $1 played, the other Italian Tarcisio Bertone’ odds are six to one which is $7 for every $1 played. The Ghana Cardinal Peter Turkson’s odds are seven to one which is $4.50 for every $1 played. Canadian Cardinal, Marc Quellet are nine to one with $5.50 for every $1 played. The last two candidates Nigerian Cardinal Franciz Arizine and Cardinal Leonard Sandri from Argentina odds are 12 to one which are $13 for every $1 played.
Checks at Goodwood found that punter has as yet placed bets but Pope Benedict’s resignation has generated much curiosity especially with Newsday’s front page article in yesterday’s edition highlighting the fact that betting on the Papal issues is being offered locally.