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Sportsbet ask punters to gamble money on the most inappropriate of topics.

Sportsbet Australia is taking bets on what name Bruce Jenner will choose should he transition to a woman. Grow up Sportsbet: this isn’t a “novelty bet” this is a deeply personal issue.

Here’s something that will leave a bad taste in your mouth today. A press release from Sportsbet, the Australian online betting company, about former Olympian Bruce Jenner.

It’s insulting, demeaning, transphobic and simply in bad taste. The betting company taking “novelty punts” on which name former Olympian and reality TV star Bruce Jenner may or may not take should he make the step towards transitioning to a woman. The press release reads:

“Online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au is giving punters the chance to have a punt on what name he/she will choose.

Zoey is leading the charge at $7.50 ahead of the much more extravagant selection of Chastity at $9.00, while a grandma name (he is 65) such as Agnes is a $11 chance.

Belinda ($15) and Brigette ($16) have been regularly linked as potential choices for Bruce but if he wants to go all Alfred Hitchcock and take his mother’s name of Esther, that’s a $51 shot.

While we love the idea of it, Bruscilla is $101 while Dame Edna rounds out the market at $501.”

The gambling company, who usually stick to horse racing and football scores, have decided to take the shameful and borderline salacious step of betting on a person’s transition. It’s exploitative discrimination .

Before you stop to swallow your disgust read on, as it gets worse.

“Fair play to Bruce, it takes a lot of balls to em…cut off your balls. We expect a lot of interest in this market ahead of the big reveal,’’ sportsbet.com.au’s Will Byrne said.”

You have to wonder if they honestly think that fair, decent Australians are okay with this? Because that’s the audience they are trying to engage isn’t it?

Sportsbet’s motivation is to appeal to the culture of “blokieness”  they play upon. However this ‘novelty bet’ is simply a failure on their part to give their own audience any credibility or respect.

They seem to think that by mocking the transgender community their mainly male customers will be amused.

But you know what? I think they’re dead wrong.

While the majority of Sportsbet’s audience probably have had limited contact with the transgender community lets give them the benefit of the doubt –most of them would see this stunt being in bad taste.

The reaction on social media was overwhelmingly incredibility at the insensitivity and virtual head-shaking at the crassness.

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What Sportsbet have done is not just an insult to the trans community but an insult to the predominantly male customers who use their gambling service. I would wager the majority of which have the utmost respect for the former Olympian Bruce Jenner and probably limited interest in his transitioning.

I know where they are coming from.

When it comes to Hollywood news about Bruce Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Khloe what-ever-her-name is or even Rocky the dog my eyes glaze over a little. The recent headlines about Bruce Jenner’s alleged will-he-or-won’t-he transition to a woman only pricked up my ears because I was interested that a well known identify may speak publicly about such a struggle.

The media fascination with Bruce Jenner

I was curious, not about the physicalities of it – but about what impact it may have on the transgender community. I was interested – not in what his daughters or stepdaughters felt about it – but in whether if there was kernel of truth in it how he would participate in the conversation. And if he did my thoughts were about the dialogue this would produce.

To be frank I have little interest in what he will dress like, what his body will look like or what his name will be if indeed he does make the brave decision of talking publically away from the gossip rags speculation and subterfuge.

Rumours about Bruce Jenner’s transition have been swirling around the internet for months.

This is a deeply personal issue for Bruce Jenner, for his family and for others going through the same struggle. What needs to come out of Bruce Jenner’s yes-no-maybe-transition is a conversation that allows young people who may be grappling with the same issues a positive voice.

Taking bets on it trivialises the struggles that so many others are going through. Turning this into a novelty undermines and ridicules thousands of transgender Australians.

Sportsbet should grow up because I would bet that their audience aren’t particularly interested in making a mockery of this either.

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