Racing: Bookies to screen goldfish races

Monday, February 05, 2001
British bookies William Hill are planning to take bets on goldfish racing.

Two races a day will be screened on the company's internet betting site.

Six goldfish will swim in each race and cameras will decide the winner if there's a photo finish.

For the opening race all six "runners" will start at odds of 5-1, but as more races are staged form will begin to become involved and odds will alter, with favourites and outsiders.

Customers using the site, www.willhill.com, will be able to watch races live and place a bet online. If the new sport becomes a hit, it will also be screened in William Hills' betting shops.

Spokesman Graham Sharpe said: "I can assure punters that this is not a joke. We believe it is going to be a big hit with our internet clients. Some people love gambling on virtually anything, so fish racing is a natural.

"We have consulted experts and they have assured us the goldfish will come to no harm. They will be doing what they do all day anyway - swimming around the tank."

A spokesman for online bookmakers Blue Square said the company had experimented with snail racing on its website and was now running trials of hamster racing.

He said: "Snail racing was very popular, if a bit slow".