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WANNA BET: Gamblers deprived of sports look to the weather

17th March, 21:08

It's probably going to be above freezing tomorrow. Wanna bet on it?

With the coronavirus putting all professional sports on hiatus, those who normally like to wager their cash on wins and losses are looking for other outlets to feed their gambling needs.

Bovada, an online sportsbook, is giving gamblers a way to utilize their skills by offering the chance to bet on Mother Nature.

Want to wager whether the temperature will be over or under 3C in Toronto tomorrow? You can do that.

Pat Morrow, the head oddsmaker at Bovada, said the idea of wagering on weather was born out of a conversation about rain and subsequent debate about the accuracy of meteorology sites.

"After looking outside, somebody made the bold claim that it would for sure rain," said Morrow. "After looking at a weather app, somebody else chimed in and said there was no chance it would rain.

"Shortly thereafter, the first weather bet was made (dinner at a local restaurant) and we thought to ourselves, 'If people are as spirited as we were about the weather, perhaps we should offer wagering on it.'

"The conclusion to this story is it rained for about five minutes and you can never fully trust these weather apps," he said.

The coronavirus outbreak has had an enormous impact on sports betting and is affecting Bovada's year-on-year numbers. While there are no pro sports to bet on, Morrow said players are finding other areas for wagering.

Bettors are putting their money on politics, TV show storyline outcomes and even professional wrestling.

"We are trying a lot of new things and seeing what works," Morrow said. "So far, weather has been the biggest hit."

echau@postmedia.com

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