Is it OK to bet on who the next pope will be?

From Foreign Policy Tue Feb 12 2013, 18:39:03

It's one of the unenumerated rules of the Internet that if you can think of it, you can bet on it online. Apparently, people have been betting on Pope Benedict XVI's successor for months via the gambling clearinghouse sites Paddy Power and William Hill Plc (sure, the pope's resignation may have shocked the world, but the good people at Paddy Power were kicking around the idea as early as August). While there's no odds-on favorite in the field, the oddsmakers are partial toward the African Cardinals Peter Turkson of Ghana and Francis Arinze of Nigeria (the latter a contender at the last papal conclave in 2005), as well as Marc Ouellet of Canada and Angelo Scola of Italy. Betters looking for a dark horse might consider Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (10 to 1) or Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga (12 to 1). Or, if you're interested in throwing money away, you can bet on noted atheist Richard Dawkins, whose odds Paddy Power has cheekily pinned at 666 to 1.

There's no Nate Silver for papal elections, and no way to unskew the polls when there is none -- aside from a closed session of cardinals that doesn't end until the pope has been chosen. (In a Silver-esque bid to do the "cardinal math," NPR's Sylvia Poggioli crunched the numbers today on conclave attendees and concluded, contrary to what the oddsmakers are predicting, that the next pope will be European.) The logic ...

The interesting wrinkle here is that usually the pope has to die for a successor to be selected -- and betting on someone dying seems pretty unethical, not to mention just plain tacky. But Benedict is stepping down. Does that make it okay ...

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Cameroun/Ghana:   Eliminatoires J.O. 2016 - Les Lionnes dos au mur (news)
Cameroon Tribune
31 July 2015

Les Camerounaises jouent leur va-tout samedi à Accra face au Ghana en match retour du troisième tour des qualifications. [read more]

West Africa:   Ghana Shares New Superlab With West African Scientists (news)
SciDev.Net
30 July 2015

"For once researchers in Ghana can start to dream. Right now you are not limited by the absence of equipment," says Lawrence Borquaye, assistant manager of the new central laboratory at Kwame Nkrumah ... [read more]

Ghana:   National Development Planning Commission Launches Report On Capitation Grant Scheme (press release)
Government of Ghana
30 July 2015

Government has, since 2012, implemented the Ghana Partnerships for Education Grant (GPEG) to address the issue of inadequate resources to schools and to supplement the Government Capitation Grant, the ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!


Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...