Odds Aren't Good For Spanair
Considering gamblers may bet on
anything from Sunday football to the winner of a presidential
election, it doesn't seem particularly surprising one Irish online
betting site recently asked people to wager on which airline they
expected to fold.
The gang at PaddyPower.com attracted headlines -- and a fair
share of wagers -- when they recently ran an ad in Irish newspapers
asking "Next airline to go bust?"
The Guardian reports a slew of bettors rang in with their
"favorites," making the segment one of the most popular
non-sports-related gambling activities for the site known for
taking odds on such issues as whether or not God exists.
After setting a base price to place a bet, the site -- billed as
"Ireland's largest bookmaker" -- ran odds on several airlines,
including British Airways and Ryanair. The odds "reflected the
weight of the money that had been wagered" on those carriers going
out of business, the betting site stated.
It was a popular promotion for the site -- but Paddy Power's ads
ran afoul of the Advertising Standards Authority, after the agency
received a complaint the ad "denigrated" the airlines mentioned for
implying they were at risk of going bankrupt.
Paddy Power responded it considered the wager to be
"legitimate," but ASA put a halt to the campaign -- saying that
advertising odds on failure "inevitably suggested that airlines
were at risk of entering administration and that some airlines were
more at risk of doing so than others, the ad suggested that the
airlines it featured were at risk."
We certainly don't wish to aggravate the ASA... but for the
record, PaddyPower bettors put their cash on beleaguered Spanish
airline Spanair as the next carrier to go tango-uniform, before
Paddy Power pulled the campaign. They placed odds of Spanair going
south at 4:1... incidentally, the same odds as those who think God
will manifest on Earth before December 31, 2009.
By comparison, bettors placed the odds of Ryanair or British
Airways failing at 100:1.