Site Accepting 'Survivor' Bets Early and Often
By Paul Bond
Fri Aug 29, 6:05 AM ET
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Within an hour of Thursday's "The Early Show" introductions of the 16 contestants competing in the newest incarnation of CBS' "Survivor" franchise, a favorite emerged, and bets were placed.
) claimed to be the first site Thursday to let fans place bets on the outcome of "Survivor: Pearl Islands," which premieres Sept. 18, and it quickly listed Burton Roberts as the 4-to-1 favorite.
That you can bet real cash on the outcome of reality TV shows at various Internet sites is nothing new. But for those who pay attention to such activity, it might come as a surprise that BoDog was first out of the gate with odds this time around. After all, it was BoDog that caused a bit of a controversy recently by claiming that it lost as much as $20,000 on the previous two "Survivors" by inadvertently taking bets from CBS employees privy to inside information.
BoDog spokesman Lance Bradley said the site paid off winning bets from about a half-dozen CBS insiders, the largest single bet costing BoDog $8,000.
But because the online sports-betting site has about 1,000 legitimate users who enjoy betting on "Survivor" each season, it decided to keep allowing the betting, though it dropped the maximum bet from $1,000 to $100 and shut down the accounts of the offending CBS insiders.
BoDog, by the way, never publicly named those CBS insiders, prompting CBS spokesman Chris Ender to opine about the site, "We suspect there was some publicity seeking going on there."
For the past several "Survivors," the winner was revealed on live TV, so those alleged CBS insiders couldn't have known who it would be, but they did know the two finalists so were able to get a guaranteed return by betting on each of them, according to BoDog.
This time around, viewers should expect a different kind of finale, though, because executive producer Mark Burnett "always has tricks up his sleeves," Ender said.