Pick 'em: Bets now accepted on pope - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Pick 'em: Bets now accepted on pope

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If you're a fan of wagering, there's plenty you can bet on. Now you can add pope to that list.

Who will be the next pope? The odds are out and the wagering has begun.

"I think in general, if people care about it, they want to bet on it," said RJ Bell, founder of Pregame.com, a website that provides odds and picks on bets.

When the cardinals in Vatican City vote behind closed doors, bettors around the world won't be waiting for a touchdown, basket or goal, they'll be waiting for a white puff of smoke, signaling a new pope has been selected.

"The favorite is Peter Turkson from Ghana. He is plus-250, so $100 wins you $250 on Turkson," he said.

The top favorites behind Turkson are Angelo Scola, Tarcisio Bertone and Angelo Bagnasco from Italy, as well as Marc Ouellet from Canada.

"What's interesting with Italy is they are actually a better-than-50-percent chance that the pope will be Italian," Bell said.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a 20-1 long shot when he was chosen in 2005. Don't plan on making any pope bets in Las Vegas casinos, however.

"You can't bet on the pope in Nevada. Nevada doesn't allow you to bet on anything that's an election," Bell said.

The only place papal prognosticators can place their bets is online or in Europe.

While some may consider this betting blasphemous, Pregame.com predicts five times more bets on the pope than the last conclave in 2005.

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