Reality Betting by Instinctual Punters Keeps the UK on Pace in the Novelty Betting Market

Published June 2, 2020 by Lee R

Reality Betting by Instinctual Punters Keeps the UK on Pace in the Novelty Betting Market

The newest punting craze in the time of corona actually offers a throwback form of motivation.

When it comes to betting in the age of information, gut instinct remains a commodity.

Novelty Betting

This is nowhere more prevalent in the emerging market US betting market than in novelty betting: examples of instinct-based betting include odds offered on the Oscars; and more traditional novelty prop bets such as how long the national anthem will last or the side the coin will land before the Super Bowl.

Reality TV Betting in the UK

Now, novelty punters in the UK are getting one up on the diversifying US market—with reality TV bets lately providing a significant portion of the UK's novelty betting market.

The Role of Instinct

Reality TV betting stands in direct contrast to sports wagering today, or even slots and casino which rely on mathematical probabilities.

However, betting on the outcome of a TV show entails the exact opposite in the UK by nature.

Silly Content, Key Wagering

In the examples of popular UK reality shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, where celebrities partner with professional ballroom dancers; or I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, where celebrities compete to be voted King or Queen of the Australian jungle; or the inane Love Island, the logic behind the wagering is far more intriguing, engaging and discernible than in the outcomes of the shows themselves.

Hearkening Back to Trading

Press Box PR Media Relations Specialist Fred Nathan told Gambling Insider that punters need an illogical sample set to wager on, calling reality betting “almost the last bastion of old-school trading” due to the prevailing instinctual element.

Unpredictability of Outcomes

Nathan believes this element is restored if not preserved by the unpredictability of reality shows, because “the people taking part haven’t done anything like this before. So there’s not really any indication whether they’re good at skating, dancing, singing or whatever.”


This is not to say that an English Premier League football weekend would not obliterate punting on even the biggest reality TV show final, but the recent shutdowns have led to some telling revelations about quirky programming: there is a much stronger and more sophisticated audience for it among the punting audience, who still seek ways to bet with their guts, and retain a punter's chance in the age of information and advanced metrics.

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