Your Guide to Betting on Next PopePublished February 13, 2013 by OCR Editor
Pope resigns, leading online sportsbooks to release odds on next leader of Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world's more than one billion Roman Catholics this week, when he became the first pope in almost six centuries to resign from his position rather than serve until death.
Canadian Marc Ouellet and Ghanaian Peter Turkson have emerged as the joint favorites to be named the next Pope. However, online sportsbook William Hill is warning punters to be wary of an Italian job, pointing out that although there hasn't been an Italian Pope since the 1970s, nearly 18 percent of the Papal Conclave hails from there.
According to Hill spokesman Joe Crilly, we have a situation in which a Canadian and Ghanaian lead the Papal betting odds, but the sheer number of candidates from Italy suggests that they could be usurped by one of them.
On the question of who will succeed Pope Benedict XVI, William Hill offers the following odds: Ouellet, Turkson, 7/2, Angelo Scola, 5/1, Francis Arinze, 11/2, Leonardo Sandri, 7/1, Gianfranco Ravasi, Tarciso Bertone, 9/1, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, 10/1, Angelo Bagnasco, 12/1, all other 16/1 and over.
For those who are less familiar with the candidates, but wish to bet on the nationality of the next Pope: Italy, 7/4, any African country, 15/8, Canada, 7/2, Latin American country, 7/2, USA, 10/1, Spain, 20/1, France, Germany, 25/1, United Kingdom, 33/1, Ireland, 50/1.