Bookmaker Taking Bets on Oscar Pistorius Trial Causes Twitter Outrage

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterMarch 2, 2014

FILE -  In this Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 file photo, double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius appears at the magistrates court to be indicted on charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition for the shooting death of his girlfriend on Valentine's Day in Pretoria, South Africa. A South Africa judge ruled Tuesday that television stations can broadcast parts of Oscar Pistorius' murder trial live, but with restrictions on witness testimonies.  (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)
Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

Twitter has reacted angrily to news that a bookmaker, Paddy Power, is taking bets on the outcome of the Oscar Pistorius trial. 

What's more, the company are also running promotional material off the back of the murder trial, which begins next week.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. She was shot through the bathroom door of Pistorius' home on February 14, 2013. Pistorius has already admitted firing the shots, but he claims he mistook her for a burglar and thought he was firing at an intruder.

The Paralympian is one of global sport's most recognisable figures. Running at the 2012 Olympics on prosthetic limbs, the South African was held up as one of athletics' great stories, overcoming adversity and realising his dream.

Whether you believe he is innocent or guilty of the crime, it is hard not to see why taking bets on it could be felt to be in poor taste.

Eurosport provides a little further background:

While it is legal for betting to take place on a trial in South Africa, the morality and taste of such a market surely has to be questioned.

Other markets offered by Paddy Power in the same category include 'Next Pope after Francis I', 'When will there be a referendum to widen grounds for abortion', 'Where is Yanukovych' and 'How will Julian Assange leave the Ecuadorian Embassy'.

And unsurprisingly, users on Twitter have been unimpressed by the bet:

Fuck You, Paddy Power, for exploiting a murder. Bonus Fuck Yous for the ‘if Oscar Pistorius walks'.

— Paul Wood (@SuperRetroid) March 2, 2014

Paddy Power well and truly overstepping the mark taking bets on the Oscar Pistorius verdict.

— Ryan Forrester (@RyanJoForrester) March 2, 2014

Betting on Oscar Pistorius' murder trial including "money back if he walks". Something is seriously wrong with Paddy Power.

— Alex Davies (@alex6992) March 2, 2014

Just saw the Paddy Power ad. They've really sunk too low now. This is a murder trial! A woman is dead! Who bets on that?!

— Karen Mulreid (@beatingblog) March 2, 2014

@keewa @RopesToInfinity Paddy power employ a "head of mischief". His budget for lawsuits is bigger than marketing budget. This is success.

— Will Donovan (@williamdonovan) March 2, 2014