Online Olympic Betting Comes from 159 Countries

[London, ENGLAND] Internet bookmaker William Hill
said Thursday it has taken bets on the Olympic Games from 159 different
countries.

And yes, says the U.K. bookmaker, it has even received bets — two of
them — from
Equatorial Guinea, home of lone swimmer Eric Moussambani who surprised
viewers
by completing his first-ever 100-metre swim during the Olympic competition,
albeit a bit slowly.

Bets have arrived at William Hill from countries as far apart alphabetically
as Argentina and Zimbabwe, with nearly every letter represented in-between.
They include Belgium; Chile; Djibouti; Eritrea; France; Guam; Haiti; Iran;
Jordan; Kazakhstan; Lebanon; Malawi; Netherlands; Oman; Palestine; Qatar;
Rwanda; Seychelles; Tajikistan; Uganda; Vietnam; Western Samoa; and Yemen.

As for the letter “X,” William Hill gets around it by referring to plenty
of betting by “X-patriates from many countries.”

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe commented it was remarkable to
be taking bets from people in almost as many countries as are
competing in the Games.

“For the first time punters worldwide have access to Olympic betting
via the Internet, and we anticipate that there will be a record
turnover as a result,” said Sharpe.

If betting is easy, checking the results in detail online is not.
Many observers have criticized the poor official coverage of the
Olympic Games on the Internet. For the Olympic movement, at least,
newspapers and television remain the dominant media.

Internet coverage of the Olympic Games varies from country to country,
with information providers presenting results tailored to their respective
readerships.

For British Internet users, two of the best sites are proving
to be BBC
Olympics 2000

and Times-Olympics from The
Times newspaper.

Britons wishing to bet against their own runners can get
odds of 7/2 that Great Britain will draw a Gold medal blank
in track and field. Optimists can get 100/1 that GB will
win six golds in those events.

Shorter odds are on Olympic hero
Steve
Redgrave
,
who stands at 2/5 to win his fifth gold in his fifth Olympics, this
time in the coxless fours.

William Hill did not say whether the two punters from Equatorial
Guinea had placed bets on Eric Moussambani actually winning the
100 metres freestyle — or, if so, what odds they were given.

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