Originally started by bookmakers' PR departments to attract publicity, the novelty bets market has grown far beyond Snow on Christmas Day and the Christmas Number One. These days you can bet on anything from the next Archbishop of Canterbury or the length of the Chancellor's Budget speech through to who will be evicted next on Big Brother.
While many novelty bets are linked to TV shows - and the scope for them has, of course, increased with television's appetite for Reality TV programmes - enterprising bookmakers will also offer prices on almost any public event where the outcome is uncertain.
The problem with many of the novelty bet markets, however, is that they have not been tested over a period of time and often their terms are imprecise or overtaken by unforeseen events. As 'fun' bets they have their place but they can also be a trap for the unwary, whether backer or layer.
As continually referred to on this site the settlement of all bets is governed by a company's terms and conditions (rules). The following is a case where a customer's intention was to place a bet on the BAFTA awards. However, the bookmaker was... more
One new market which has created problems is the introduction of the 'double eviction' market in the Big Brother television programme.
Potential backers should clarify the exact criteria which will be applied in the settlement of 'double eviction' transactions as most companies offer 'next eviction' which means that the highest number of votes polled will determine the first to leave. The second evictee, ie., being the one with the second highest number of votes polled will not be considered a winner in the above offer.