Online betting is no longer restricted to the confines of sporting events. Now punters can place bets on all aspects of entertainment. If the result isn’t already predetermined then online bookmakers will provide an entertainment betting market for it. Most popular entertainment betting revolves around reality TV shows such as X Factor, Big Brother, I’m A Celebrity and Strictly Come Dancing. There are also betting markets available for awards ceremonies such as the Oscars, Baftas, Mercury Prize and the Brit Awards plus, one of the most popular non-sport betting event, the Eurovision song contest.
Online Entertainment Betting
Anyway, to cut a long (and excruciatingly pointless) story short like with anything that was originally aimed squarely at menfolk, it wasn't long before more and more women got wise to the subsequent ease in which you could place a bet and wanted to get in on the act; courtesy of various other avenues of online betting that rapidly emerged and caught and held their attentions longer than a fire sale in a shoe store. It's like a proper (potted) history lesson this isn't it? No? Well nevermind, the point's just around the corner.
Without playing up to certain stereotypes or for that matter risking being shut down for borderline sexism, women by and large like to be entertained in a different manner to the simple pleasures that effortlessly invite men to switch off from reality. And the onset of both 'reality TV' and new-fangled entertainment programmes on the box touched the pleasure receptors and had the fairer sex running for their mobiles and jamming phone vote lines as they dialled in their favourite acts by way of showing their support to a traditional underdog of life's loser. Or any Thomas, Richard or Harry with a sob story to tell and marginal talent in some otherwise dubious arena. Call us cynics, but you all know the drill by now.
Reality TV Betting
Realising that the likes of Strictly Come Dancing With Big Brother On Britain's Got No Talent Or X-Factor So Get Me Out Of This Hellish Kitchen was like honey to a bee for many folk sat on t'other side of the TV set, it was literally days before the online bookmakers got in on the act as it were. Which resulted in you and I being able to bet on the outcome of the very latest TV talent show involving – heaven forbid – tired celebrities long past their best before date, or – and possibly even more offensive on the ears and eyes of a sorry nation – complete nobodies plucked from obscurity to be thrust into our conscience for a few months before they either disappeared back to obscurity or inevitably as the case may be, up their own backsides. Think former Pop Idol-formulated Hear'say band member-turned-TV presenter Myleene Klass and you see where we're going with this.
The problem is women for the most part cant get enough of it. Not the talent-free area known as Miss Klass, the sordid, almost Clandestine world of entertainment TV Betting that is. A dark and sinister place that robs menfolk of their girlfriends, partners and wives for weeks on end during various points in the TV calendar year as series upon series of televised no-marks supposedly 'entertain' the masses. But putting cynicism to one side for a moment, and there's no denying that all this unearthing of new talent – or breathing new life into old yet contentious talent – is big business. And if one thing's guaranteed at the end of each run then that Simon Cowell/Simon Fuller double act is going to edge further up the Celeb Rich List.
On the plus side the fiscal gains/profitability of predicting the winners of prime time TV talent shows can filter down to the woman/man on the street too, as there's plenty of money to be made by adjudging which nauseating child star in the making/rehab-weary former TV icon/washed-up one-time sports hero-of-sorts/newly-discovered clothes hanger-packer from the outskirts of nowhere will reign supreme once a reality show reaches its not-so natural end. So why not jump on the bandwagon and witness each contestant's personal 'journey' for yourself, and moreover try and work out if they've got a chance in hell of spawning their luck for the show's complete run. You never know you might enjoy it and as they say, if you cant beat them (and get away with it) you might as well join them.
Music, Events and Awards Betting
Apart from such annual and repeated TV menaces as Channel 4's Big Brother, BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing, ITV1's Dancing On Ice, Nigeria's Got Talent, X-Factor, Hell's Kitchen and I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here there's a whole host of alternative and more loosely labeled 'entertainment betting' to be indulged in within an online environment. Take for example Awards Betting. Now here in itself is one for the purists amongst you. The slightly more, how can we put it, cultured vultures in the audience, those with a keen sense of what's what in the more cerebral world. Those who take more of a high than an arched brow approach to the whole TV talent-fest 'thang'. Yup, we're mainly talking BAFTA, Oscar, Nobel Peace Prize, Man Booker, Mercury Music Prize and Turner Art Prize Betting. Film, theatre and literature taking centre stage, popular perhaps with the Guardian readers out there, who knows. But what we do know is that many take a punt on the outcome as a matter of course.
Elsewhere and there's the small matter of what we refer to as Events Betting to mention. Everything and anything from which candidate/party is going to win the next general election and which horrendous act is going to romp to victory in the Eurovision Song Contest through to the odds of it being a white Christmas and trying to determine which way the financial markets are going to turn for better or for worse. All very popular ways in which to part with your online entertainment betting cash if you have any insider knowledge or purely like to punt on the more leftfield.
Music Betting is a little more straightforward to those on the outside, with the obvious choice of guessing the artist to claim the much sought after Christmas Number One spot riding high in this popular online betting discipline. Otherwise it's Brit Award winners, NME Awards and Smash Hits Awards if the latter was still going. Which of course it sadly isn't. (You're showing your age again now – Ed) But you get the drift.
Also found residing under the banner of 'Entertainment Betting' is that of political gambling, continuing the online bookmaker's diversification into other areas at the bequest of punters nine times out of ten. Whether gauging the outcome of Prime Ministerial leadership challenges, attempting to ascertain who the next Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat leader is going to be, timing and/or result of the next general election or for those looking to challenge their gambling talents based on the turn of events a little bit further afield and having a wager on who you think will become the next President of Nigeria.
Another active online betting area that sees plenty of cash exchange hands within a virtual platform and comes within the remit of 'Entertainment Betting' is that of Sports Specials, and in particular the destination of such accolades as BBC Sports Personality of the Year. As popular as ever with a massive TV audience, in the lead-up to the announcement of the sports person deemed to be worthy of the trophy a flurry of online betting activity is always observed and acknowledged by the bookies, hence the opening of the relevant sports book early each year. Likewise – in as much as an area that throws up a great deal of concurrent interest and devotion from certain sectors of the online betting community – is the naming of the next England football manager. Or any other leading sports team's head honcho being replaced for a myriad of reasons. Classed as a 'one-off' betting event, it's nevertheless a regularly received online bet given the precarious nature and territory that comes when afforded the poison chalice of leading one of our many national, high profile sports teams to victory on the field of play.
And finally finding favour under the wing of 'Entertainment Betting' is Financial Betting, which essentially covers online betting on the financial markets. Something of a hot potato in the current economic market there will still be plenty of you out there who'll want to make a few bob on monetary trading, perhaps after receiving a tip-off on an imminent company merger or group acquisition. The FTSE provides a constant stream of excitement and source of generous income for more than just the striped shirt and red brace brigade and has done since online betting took a foothold in financial markets per se.
So there you have it. A cross section of Entertainment Bets all living under the one roof, all offering the online gambler a rich and varied choice of hitting the jackpot on a daily basis one way or another; indeed something for every online betting taste.