Bookies have slashed the odds on it being a White Christmas this year, though frustratingly they’re not keen to take my bet that it will rain in Belfast next Wednesday.
Some are calling the impending spell of cold weather Snowmageddon. Those people need to take a long, hard look at themselves.
The odds on December 25 featuring snow in Belfast are as low as 5/2 with some bookies. My question is, what sort of person bets on the weather?
Let’s not forget that gambling is a slippery slope. What starts out as a fun bet on the weather or a couple of quid on who killed Lucy Beale in Eastenders, could spark a habit that ends with you blowing your children’s Disneyworld savings on a hotly tipped thoroughbred at Chepstow which turns out to be a pantomime horse.
Online sports betting has not only helped to resurrect the flagging career of Ray Winstone, but it’s opened up gambling to a whole new breed of punter. Those who seek instant gratification.
No longer do you have to sit out an entire weekend’s action to find out if your 10 team accumulator has come in, instead you can place quickfire bets on the next player to score, the next player to be cautioned or the next player to commit adultery.
And because the money you’re pumping into these online bookmakers’ sites isn’t physically coming out of your pocket, it’s much easier and more fun to throw a few virtual pounds at something that’s happening live before your eyes.
While it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility for a bet on whether it will snow on Christmas Day to spiral out of control, I’m guessing that those who look to the skies for a flutter and those who study the form of dogs, horses and sports teams are two different types of people.
But what if betting on the weather became a more expansive line of gambling. The only reason that it can’t become an addiction right now is because it’s a one-off bet.
I chanced my arm with Coral to see if they were prepared to allow more bets on the weather…
@graemecousins Afraid not. Thanks.
— Coral (@Coral) October 20, 2015
Their response wasn’t the one I was after, but at least it was swift.
Despite the knock back I do think it’s only a matter of time before betting on the weather becomes commonplace. At the end of the day, it’s another way for bookies to make money off hapless punters.
Even Barra Best or Carol Kirkwood wouldn’t be guaranteed a living off weather betting given the random nature of the skies, especially in Northern Ireland.
But if gambling on the weather forecast did take off, could you imagine the euphoria if your bet came in?
“Yeoooooooo, that wee five pound weather accumulator I put on has just came in.”
“What did you have it on?”
“Rain on Friday, sunshine on Saturday and snow today.”
“Nice one. How much did you rake in?”
“200 quid. Shall we go to the pub?”
“We can’t. We’re snowed in.”