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British bookies take bets on Woods' divorce

Updated: 2009-12-18 11:15
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British bookies take bets on Woods' divorce
Tiger Woods and caddie Steve Williams await a ruling during the WGC Bridgetown Invitational golf tournament in Akron, Ohio, in this August 25, 2006 file photo. [Agencies]

LONDON: If Tiger Woods and his Swedish wife get divorced, Elin Nordegren won't be the only one collecting on the settlement.

British bookmaker William Hill is taking bets on just how much Nordegren will get if she decides to divorce the world's No. 1 golfer, who is taking an indefinite break from the sport after admitting to cheating on his wife.

As the scandal widens with claims of more and more mistresses, bettors can get 25-1 odds that Nordegren will receive more than half a billion dollars in a divorce settlement. The odds drop to 6-4 for a settlement under $100 million. William Hill is offering only 1-2 odds that she would get between $100 million and $500 million.

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"It's largely a bit of fun," William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said Thursday.

At odds of 25-1, people who bet $1 and win will get $25 plus the $1 stake back. At 6-4 odds, a $4 bet will get $10 in return.

Adams said the company had been taking bets on whether or not the couple would get divorced at all, but took the market down because it was too one-sided with people betting on divorce. William Hill also had bets on how many women would come forward as alleged mistresses, but Adams said that was too difficult to verify.

None of the bets, though, had been for much money.

"People are putting on small bets, probably so they can have a giggle in the pub and show their mate a betting slip," Adams said. "It's not vast sums of money."

Two other British bookmakers, Ladbrokes and Coral, are only taking bets on Woods as a golfer, saying they wanted to stay away from his personal problems.

"We did think about it, but we tend not to go down there," Coral spokesman Gary Burton said.

Ladbrokes spokesman Nick Weinberg said his company is more concerned about Woods' sporting achievements.

"We usually stay away from the less tasteful elements, so we've given that one a miss," Weinberg said.

Ladbrokes is only taking bets on whether or not Woods, with 14 major titles, will break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18, and the odds on that are getting longer.

"He's 2-5 to break the record, 23-1 not to," Weinberg said. "We were as short as 1-20."

Coral is taking bets on whether Woods will play at the Masters, the first major of the year, in April. Two weeks ago, they were giving 9-2 odds that he would miss the tournament at Augusta. That's been cut to 11-10 because of the mounting scandal.

"Everybody reads the stuff that's going on about his impending divorce and the fallout," Burton said.

Woods is also 4-6 to play at the Masters, and 2-9 to break Nicklaus' major record. As for Woods ever playing golf again, Coral has cut the odds from 33-1 to 16-1.

William Hill is offering the most bets, going even farther than next season by giving 6-1 odds that Woods will win the Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. He is also 4-6 to play at this year's Masters and 11-8 to win a major in 2010.

"In terms of golf, we think that it won't affect him massively," Adams said. "He's such a focused bloke, I think he can separate the two. If anything, he might come back more focused."

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