THERE'S NO DENYING IT, Aussies love a punt: from drunken two-up matches in the trenches to machines that suck through entire paychecks. The chance to double-up has long been a favourite pastime.
That's why gambling officiandos and enthusiasts are all in a flutter, with news that punters will soon be able to bet their hard-earned on daily coronavirus figures. Rumours abound, but Hectic Terry Media has been gifted with a leaked memo of the gambling industry's plans. Accordingly, bets will soon be taken on Australia's national and state official daily coronavirus case numbers, with all manner of multis and crazy betting options likely to be available as well.
Critics have slammed the prospect as a travesty during a time of such suffering and mass unemployment. However, a spokesperson for Australia's biggest gambling outlet remains unapologetic. Speaking under strict anonymity, (let's call this spokesperson 'Moneybags OAM'), the industry sees it as a natural progression of its current gambling activities.
"Why the f**k not?" said Moneybags."
"We've long traded on the misery of people. The current calamity is another opportunity to further our reach. Not only are we giving existing customers more choice but we hope to tap into an entirely new market of incredibly bored that are usually less compulsive."
The gambling industry has taken a big hit during the pandemic, but keen observers have seen the growth in online gambling options. The ability to bet on daily coronavirus numbers will likely result in a spike in problem gambling.
Speaking from his home in the north of Melbourne, self-confessed gambling addict, Tarkin '20 to 1' Edmonson (who requested not to be named) felt upbeat about the new gambling options. "My gambling has really dipped during the pandemic. With these new options, I can get back to my pre-COVID levels."
The Australian gambling industry's plans will be watched from around the world, as test a case for betting on all manner of disasters, natural and human induced. Either way, the industry is likely to rake in huge profits (and no doubt generously give back less than 1% of profits to COVID relief).
By the way, if you are experiencing gambling problems Hectic Terry could offer you some sweet tips, but the best advice is probably not to gamble at all.