Novelty bets, also called proposition bets, alternative bets or special bets, allow punters to bet on a range of events and outcomes. From the weather to politics and TV shows, novelty betting adds an extra edge to the world of gaming.
The Rapid Rise of Novelty Betting
Recently, there was a huge frenzy around the murder of Lucy Beale in Eastenders, making betting on Lucy’s potential killer one of the biggest betting events in television history.
But novelty betting hasn’t always been this popular. In fact, we can trace its origins in the modern form to just around 25 years ago.
One of the most famous stories around novelty betting dates back to 1989, when a man from Newport, South Wales placed 30 quid on a bet that 5 events would occur before the year 2000.
The 5 events were: Cliff Richard would be knighted, U2 would remain together, Eastenders would still be airing, and Neighbours and Home and Away would still be showing on British TV.
The result? Only one of the biggest wins to come out of a novelty bet ever. As the world entered the new millennium, the forward-thinking Welshman collected £194,400.
Novelty Betting Today
A lot has changed since 1989. Novelty betting is no longer seen as a weird pastime of eccentrics.
Some of the biggest bookies operating today, such as Paddy Power, see novelty bets as a core part of their offering and have been making great advancements in the industry.
With reality TV becoming ever more popular, many traditionally-focused gaming operators are stepping out of their comfort zone and turning to novelty betting as a way of diversifying their product.
Nowadays, it is more of a rule than an exception to find the availability of bets on awards, such as The Oscars, and talent shows, such as The Voice, at UK online and offline bookmakers.
We already mentioned the amazing level of interest shown in the “Who killed Lucy Beale” bet, but it is worth emphasising that this event attracted more stakes than the 2014 Champions League Final!
Why Are Novelty Bets So Popular?
One of the most obvious explanations for the rise in popularity of novelty bets is that they are available to a much wider demographic than the male-dominated traditional sports or horserace betting.
Novelty bets capture our imagination more strongly than sports bets. Why not add an extra edge to it by staking some money we can afford to lose on the outcome of events that concern our lives?
The Future of Novelty Betting
An increasing number of bookies have understood the growing potential of novelty betting. With tougher competition between them, we can be sure of seeing better odds and ever more interesting bets being offered.
Novelty bets are a reflection of world events. And as the world and events that shape it change over time, so will the nature of novelty betting.
We could soon be seeing more and more bets related to phenomena like global warming, immigration, discovering the existence of aliens, space colonisation, and important scientific advancements.