|With more than 1,500 online betting sites on the Internet today which let you bet on just about anything under the sky, the Cardinal of Vatican is now the new hope of online bettors. |
Customers of Online bookies such as Paddy Power and Betfair.com are betting on Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, the archbishop of Milan, to be the next Pope. Bettors are also offered odds of 2 to 1 on Archbishop Tettamanzi with the Irish online bookie Paddy Power, pegging the bets at 37 to 13. A spokesperson for Paddy Power said, 'We offering such odds on the next Pope is in the public interest, and we are only responding to customer demands and at the moment we have received more requests than complaints.'
The online betting community still stands divided between protestants (of betting) and a few neutral bookies such as William Hill disclosed that it had no plans to such a Pope-related book, on the grounds of taste, as the Pope can´t resign from the papacy, as compared to betting on a football manager´s job.
While, the Catholic Weekly News (CWN), calls this betting on Catholics and Protestants as 'tasteless and immoral' the online bookies, continue to offer odds on which cardinal will succeed Pope John Paul II. Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood said: 'Such betting on the Pope is not acceptable or moral. The present Pope is still alive and is very strong – to speculate on what will happen after his death is distasteful. Besides, the Holy Spirit can choose the most unexpected candidates.'
Other religious institutions too are lashing out at the online bookies. 'This betting is so grossly tatty and tasteless. The outcome of the next papal election is of enormous international significance. We should be praying for the right choice, not looking to make money from it,' says Martyn Eden, a director of the Evangelical Alliance.
But for now, believers of online betting and atheists continue the wagering on the next Pope.