THE friendly folk at Sportsbet.com.au love to have a bit of fun with a fad, so it’s no surprised they have released a swag of markets on the new Pokemon Go craze.
The search for pocket monsters using smartphones and tablets has turned mild-mannered people into ferocious hunters who trek hundreds of kilometres to catch the cartoon characters from the 1990s.
After appeals from US authorities for users to stop hunting Pokémon at the Holocaust Memorial Museum and Arlington National Cemetery, Sportsbet has opened a market on which Aussie location will be the first to impose a ban.
The logical choice where people should be doing something other than hunting Pokemon is the Australian War Memorial, and that monument is, understandably, a $3.50 favourite with the bookie to be the first location to ban the craze.
National Library of Australia is just behind at $4.50, while Parliament House is next best at $11.
Popular Aussie tourist destinations including the Daintree Rainforest ($14), Uluru ($16) and the Great Barrier Reef ($26) are in the running, as is the MCG ($31) and Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping centre ($41).
“Forget the yo-yos and footy cards, Pokémon Go is the latest craze sweeping the nation and we don’t think it will be too long before the fun police start calling for a ban,” Sportsbet’s Ben Bulmer said.
“As Pokémon Go fans swamp many of Australia’s iconic, and not so iconic, locations, sportsbet.com.au doesn’t think it will be too long before the calls for it to be banned start coming thick and fast
“The Australian War Memorial is favourite and rightly so, but we’d hate to see Aussies denied the chance of hunting for virtual Japanese monsters in the Daintree or Great Barrier Reef.”
The bookie has also pitted the states and territories against each other.
Fun-hating New South Wales Premier Mike Baird is a $5 chance to send Pokemon Go the way of the state’s greyhound racing and nightlife – into extinction.
The ACT ($6.50) and Queensland ($8) are the only others in single figures.
“We all know state governments like to put an end to unorganised fun happening, especially in public, so expect the axe to fall soon on this,” Sportsbet’s Will Byrne said.
He said the bookie expected celebrities to get on board the Pokemon Go train, with songstress Taylor Swift the $4.50 favourite to be the first famous person caught playing the game.
Justin Bieber is next in the market at $5, ahead of tennis bad boy and well-known gamer Nick Kyrgios at $9.
A couple of odd ones have been installed rather early in the market in Aussie actor Hugh Jackman ($6) and outgoing US president Barack Obama ($8).
Obama loves a good trend, so it would surprise no one if he were to become a Pokemon Go fanatic.
“This Pokémon craze is like the complete opposite of the Walking Dead and everyone is running around the streets like they need to find Pikachu and his mates or their life will end, it’s surreal,” Byrne said.
The ultimate goal of the game is to locate legendary Pokemon, and Sportsbet has a market for that too.
So where will the first legendary Pokemon be found?
Hyde Park leads the Sydney race at odds of $6, while in Melbourne the hallowed turf of the MCG is also a $6 favourite.
Byrne said Pokémon Go was $1.05 to have more users than Twitter by the end of the year and a $7 chance to topple Facebook in 2017.
“It’s a long time since something has captured and dominated the public’s attention like this and it’s only going to get bigger once it arrives in every other country,” Byrne said.
“We’re already tipping the game to surpass Twitter this year and Facebook will no doubt be looking over their shoulders.”
First place to have Pokémon Go banned
$3.50 Australian War Memorial
$4.50 National Library of Australia
$5.50 Rookwood Cemetery
$9 St Paul’s Cathedral
$9 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
First state to ban Pokémon Go
$5 New South Wales
$6.50 Australian Capital Territory
$11 Northern Territory
$14 South Australia
$16 Western Australia
Who will be the first personality caught playing Pokémon Go?
$4.50 Taylor Swift
$5 Justin Bieber
$6 Hugh Jackman
$8 Barack Obama
$9 Nick Kyrgios
$11 Angelina Jolie
$11 Brad Pitt
$16 Bernard Tomic
$16 Daniel Ricciardo
$16 Hillary Clinton
$21 Prince William
$21 Prince Harry
$21 Lionel Messi
$21 Malcolm Turnbull
$21 Bill Shorten
$31 Donald Trump
$41 Tony Abbott
$51 The Queen
$101 The Pope
Where will the first Legendary Pokémon be found in Sydney?
$6 Hyde Park
$7.50 Sydney Opera House
$8 Wynyard Station
$11 Central park
$11 Bondi Beach
$14 Botanical Gardens
$16 Sydney Harbour Bridge
$16 King St, Newtown
$17 Manly Beach
$18 State Parliament
$19 Luna Park
$21 Sydney Airport
$26 Kirribilli House
$34 In a Manly Ferry
$51 Malcom Turbull’s House, Point Piper
$101 In Chris Bowen’s beard
Where will the first Legendary Pokémon be found in Melbourne?
$6.50 St Kilda beach
$7 Westgate Bridge
$7.50 Flemington Racecourse
$8 Royal Botanic Gardens
$8.50 Flinders St Station
$9 Melbourne Star
$12 Eureka Tower
$12 Palais Theatre
$14 Rod Laver Arena
$31 Lygon St
$41 State Parliament House
$51 St Pauls Cathedral
$101 In Max Gawn’s beard
Will Pokémon Go have more users than Twitter in 2016?
Will Pokémon Go have more users than Facebook by 2017?
First Politician to be spotted playing Pokemon Go in Parliament
$6.50 Scott Ludlam
$8.50 Jason Clare
$12 Anthony Albanese
$13 Nick Xenophon
$15 Mitch Fifield
$31 Tanya Plibersek
$41 Stephen Conroy
$51 Christopher Pyne
$61 Malcolm Turnbull
$61 Bill Shorten
$81 Mathias Cormann
$201 Jackie Lambie
$251 Barnaby Joyce
$301 Derryn Hinch
$501 Pauline Hanson
All markets provided by Sportsbet
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