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The Loop

A bookie's publicity stunt

November 13, 2009

Australian bookmaker SportsBet.com is paying off tickets on Tiger Woods to win the Australian Masters, though two rounds are left to be played. It is doing so, it said, because Woods' victory is only a formality.

"Tiger is clearly our worst result, and despite being only a few strokes ahead, we think the Australian Masters is a foregone conclusion," Sportsbet.com Chief Executive Matthew Tripp told Bettingpro.com. "We're happy to look after our members and let them enjoy their winnings over the weekend by paying them today."

In fact, it is not paying off bettors because Woods' victory is a foregone conclusion, but because it is seeking the free publicity such a stunt garners (including this post).

It isn't even an original publicity stunt involving bets on Woods. Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaker, paid Woods' backers after the second round of the PGA Championship, which he led by four at the time. Y.E. Yang, of course, overtook Woods and won the PGA Championship.

-- John Strege