Italy to accept bets on Olympic alpine races

Italy to accept bets on Olympic alpine races{mosimage}BORMIO, Italy – Ready to put down some euros on the giant slalom? No problem. Betting will be available on ski races at the Torino Olympics.

Italy’s state agency overseeing betting has introduced Big Race Sci in time for the Winter Games.

It’s the first time bets will be made on ski races in Italy, said Maurizio Cimarelli of the agency. Bets may be placed at any of the 22,000 licensed parlors in Italy, including the thousands of bars on virtually every street corner in Italy.

Betting will be open to anyone over 18, foreigners included.

“Even Martians,” Cimarelli said. “It’s just the same as a foreigner buying a pack of cigarettes in Italy.”

Gian Franco Kasper, president of the International Ski Federation and a member of the International Olympic Committee, has no problem with the initiative.

“It depends on the law in the host country,” he said. “We have an internal agreement in place that none of our athletes or coaches can take part.”

- The Associated Press

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