Charitable Betting

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You can bet on anything these days, or so it seems. On the BetFair site you are given a huge choice of markets, and you can place bets on everything from sports and award shows, to politics. You can even bet on many charity events, although not directly. That is to say that you can’t bet on charities and on their success or failure, but you can bet on many events that are created in the name of charity.

These include testimonial games, where players that have been at a sports team for a long time are given a game to raise money for themselves and for charity, and running events such as marathons. These operate in much the same way as any other sporting event, with gamblers able to choose winners, placers, and to pick from a selection of special bets.

With so much money floating around the gambling industry, it is quite common for charity and gambling to combine. This is something that everyone likes to see, which is why we have listed some of the most recent occasions this has happened below.

BetFair Marathon

BetFair are the biggest gambling community in the world, with a host of ways to win and lose some money. As we discovered just a month ago, they are also doing their bit for charity, getting involved with runners in the London Marathon.

BetFair opened markets for runners in this race, with bets tailored to them. This was done on the sports book as opposed to the betting exchange, as the bets were offered by BetFair themselves and not its users. Basically, those seeking to run in the London Marathon were asked to submit their details to BetFair, including their history, their experience and their target time. BetFair would then generate odds of them hitting that target time and give them a £20 bet on those odds.

This offered extra incentive for runners to finish the race and to hit their target time. Once they finished the race they were asked to take a screenshot of their time at the finishing line, and then send it to BetFair. If they won the bet then their winnings were sent to their Fundraising page, from where it would be given to the charity of their choice.

Superhero Gamblers

Actors Chris Pratt and Chris Evans were embroiled in a big bet during the 2015 Super Bowl, and whilst such bets between rich celebrities usually end with a lot of money exchanging hands, the rich getting richer and the public not hearing anything about it, this was a very charitable and public affair.

It began with a fun tweet sent to Pratt from Evans, a New England Patriots fan messaging a Seattle Seahawks fan, the two teams involved in the Super Bowl. The two on-screen superheroes agreed that the loser would show up to a charity of the other’s choosing, wearing their superhero costume. What followed was a Twitter explosion, with a great deal of money raised for charity and culminating with Seahawks fan Pratt, visiting a Seattle Children’s Hospital. Not wanting to be left out, Evans also fulfilled the role of the loser, despite winning the bet.

In total, this throwaway bet, beginning from a casual comment, raised close to $30,000 for the charities involved.

Big Check, Big Heart

In December of last year, just in time for the Christmas holidays, a Las Vegas gambler decided to donate a large chunk of a big win to charity, no doubt making many Christmas wishes coming true. The winner wished to remain anonymous, so his name was not released. There are reports that suggest he wasn’t even a big gambler, and he was far from a high-roller. By all accounts he was a part-time gambler that got lucky and then decided to use that luck to help those in need.

The win came on a Megabucks slot machine and totalled over $14 million. There are reports that the man didn’t even play this game regularly and that this was his first time playing. He just popped a few dollars in, and got a lot more than that out. If people like this regularly scored the biggest Vegas jackpots then the world might be a better place.

Bet 4 Balls

Rather aptly and amusingly named, the Bet 4 Balls site was set up as a gambling site, with the plan of putting a vast majority of the money that it received through gambling into helping research into prostate cancer. This site was launched in the United Kingdom, where gambling is widespread and is a big part of the culture, and the charity that will receive funding is Prostate Cancer UK.

The site is not a casino or sports book in itself, but rather it is a portal that offers links to gambling websites. If a player goes through this site first, taking advantage of free bets and offers on major gambling sites, then the first £5 bet they place will lead to a £5 donation to the prostate cancer charity. It was not made clear how much more would be donated to the charity following further bets, but they did state that they had a target of £100,000. With the popularity of gambling in the UK, and the fact that gamblers have nothing to lose by going through this website, it seems likely that they will reach that target without much trouble.

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