I've been researching prediction markets lately, and I came across a fascinating initiative called bet2give. Because of laws against online gambling in the USA, providers of such services have had to come up with all sorts of clever wheezes for getting around the obvious constraints this imposes.
One is bet2give, which allows you to bet on the outcome of different events in the future (the prediction markets), but any winnings go to one or more charities of your choice rather than into your bank account. A case of turning vice into virtue perhaps? I wonder how long before one or more Irish charities get in on the act - we've had charity lotteries before, this might seem a logical extension.
By the way, one of the charities supported by bet2give is new to me - it's called Free Rice and their goal is to link education to food aid. Very simply, you answer a word quiz on the site and each time you get the right answer they donate rice through the United Nations World Food Programme. It's really clever, but be warned: like gambling it can be addictive!