The Australian latest craze, Pokémon GO, has merged with an age-old national tradition of betting on anything, as authorities scramble to deal with an influx of unwelcome Pokémon “trainers”.
The craze led the NSW Justice Department to issue a stern warning:
Going to court is not a game: Pokémon Go trainers should look elsewhere for digital critters. pic.twitter.com/XOGC3nxswG
— Justice NSW (@NSWJustice) July 12, 2016
In the US, the war veteran cemetery Arlington also warned it was a no go area for players:
We do not consider playing "Pokemon Go" to be appropriate decorum on the grounds of ANC. We ask all visitors to refrain from such activity.
— Arlington Cemetery (@ArlingtonNatl) July 12, 2016
Seeing an opportunity more diverse than two flies climbing a wall, Sportsbet has released market betting on where in Australia will be first to ban the game and gamers from their venue.
The company even took a dig at NSW premier Mike Baird, who last week banned greyhound racing saying it “won’t rule out the NSW Government following up with a state-wide ban of Pokémon” but offering odds of $1,001.
So far, Canberra’s Australian War Memorial is the $3.50 favourite, with other national monuments on the list, including the National Library of Australia ($4.50) and Parliament House ($11).
And you have to admire the faith of punters who assume you can actually get data coverage in places like the Daintree Rainforest ($14), Uluru ($16) and the Great Barrier Reef ($26) to play the game there in the first place.
Interestingly, the MCG ($31) is on the list, but not the SCG — perhaps because the bandwidth there is so bad when there’s a game on, fans there struggle to get a tweet or Instagram post out anyway.
And interestingly, Sportsbet has the Catholics as the wowsers in Melbourne, and the Anglicans in Sydney, with St Paul’s Cathedral and St Mary’s Cathedral both listed at $9.
The betting agency also puts the Chaddy, the Southern hemisphere’s largest shopping centre, in Melbourne’s southeast on the list, which seems a bit unfair since anyone who’s ever been lost in the 13 hectare site would be pleased to find anything they were looking for in there.
Parliament House in Canberra seems at relatively long odds at $11, but they may be explained by the makeup of the new senate.
Here’s how Sportsbet has its market for the first place to have Pokémon GO banned:
$3.50 Australian War Memorial
$4.50 National Library of Australia
$5.50 Rookwood Cemetery
$9.00 St Paul’s Cathedral
$9.00 St Mary’s Cathedral
$11 Parliament House – Canberra
$14 Daintree Rainforest
$26 Great Barrier Reef
$31 Melbourne Cricket Ground
$41 Chadstone Shopping Centre
$51 Australian National Botanic Gardens
$1,001 All of NSW