Believe it or not, sports books aren’t all about sports. In the early days of gambling, when you placed your bets in small betting shops or casino back-rooms, then that was certainly the case. But as this industry has grown and expanded into the online world, it has branched out, covering all kinds of sports and a number of industries that have nothing to do with sports.
Simply put, if there is an outcome that people speculate about and an event that people watch, then there will be a bet you can place on it.
Speciality Betting: Entertainment Bets
The most common non-sports bets are ones based on the entertainment industry. There are a number of these available at any given time, covering everything from music to film and even art. For instance, the following bets appear on a regular basis and can typically be found on most sports books. This includes Canada-friendly ones like Sports Interaction:
- Who will be the next James Bond?
- Who will win the next Miss Universe?
- Will a certain band/performer release an album this year?
- Who will win the next American Idol/X Factor/America’s Got Talent?
- Who will be number 1 at Christmas?
There are also countless bets on award shows like the Oscars, and after the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the bookmakers went crazy with bets on when they would get married, if they would break-up, what the names of their children would be, and more. Many of those bets have been settled now, of course, but there are many other similar bets available.
If there is a celebrity couple always in the spotlight, then you will be able to find markets offering odds on a break-up, a child, and more. The world of entertainment bets is actually growing faster than typical sports betting as bookmakers look to take advantage of the growing celebrity culture, while also targeting their services at casual gamblers.
Speciality Betting: Political Bets
2016 was a big year for political bets. It seemed like every country had their own big decision to make, but the bookies were focused on two decisions in particular: The EU Referendum in the UK, and the 2016 US Presidential election. These were the ones that drew the crowds, and millions of dollars were staked on both of these events.
In 2017, betting sites are still seeing an increase in activity on these markets. It seems that people have gotten a taste for political betting and they want more of it. At the time of writing, you can place bets on all kind of events to take place during the Trump administration. You can also place bets on a number of different outcomes in Europe.
You can even place a bet on the 2020 US elections. These markets were opened more or less as soon as Trump was sworn-in. And it seems like betting sites have learned the lesson when it comes to offering high prices for celebrities and public figures, because the odds for people like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kanye West to be the next president are just 100.00.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a great deal of political bets available in Canada. Canadians can still bet on political markets elsewhere, it’s just uncommon to find any that relate to Canadian politics.
Speciality Betting: News and Topical Events
These days we have access to more new than ever before. As a result, world events rarely pass anyone by and everyone has their own views and their own opinions on the outcomes. This has led to an increase in bets offered on common news. These are a little rarer than political bets and entertainment bets and tend to revolve around controversial events.
As a result, they are typically offered by sports books that like to cause controversy. PaddyPower is one of the biggest sites offering such bets. They can be found under their “Novelty Bets” section and include:
- Who will be the next pope?
- What color will the lottery bonus ball be?
- Will house prices increase by X amount?
These bets tend to be short-lived and they are always based on current trends. So, if there is something hitting the headlines and generating a lot of interest then you can expect to find odds on it. One of the better sites for people in Canada to bet on is BetWay.
Speciality Betting: Personal Prop Bets
Believe it or not, there is a way that you can place bets on outcomes in your own life. Sounds strange, we know, but it’s true. We have reported several times on people who have placed bets on their young children to one day play sport at an international level. Bets of this nature often make the headlines around the world and in most cases they seem to take place in the United Kingdom, where bookmakers are a little more open to novelty bets.
However, you can also place these bets in Canada and other countries. Most online betting sites are more open to such requests these days. In fact, many of them have special “RequestABet” sections that let you request bets.
Speciality Betting: Other Competitions
There are also many bets on things that you wouldn’t necessarily class as “sports”, but often fall under the same category. Poker is a big example of this. When many people think of poker they think of casinos and even of video poker. But you can also bet on the outcome of professional poker tournaments.
The most popular of these is the World Series of Poker. This takes place every year in the summer. But the Main Event—which is the event that attracts most of the markets and money—isn’t finalized until November. On specific betting sites you may also be able to bet on the European Poker Tour and the North American Poker Tour. BetStars is a good site for these bets. This is the sports book arm of Pokerstars, a Canadian-owned brand that sponsors and organizes most tournaments.