Lifestyle Economics

Election Betting Scandal: A Reality Check


In the Media

IEA research featured in The Times

In the Media

Daniel Freeman writes for CapX

Christopher Snowdon writes for Spiked!

IEA Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon has written for Spiked! arguing that the scandal developing around politicians and advisors betting on General Election outcomes has been overblown.

Christopher wrote:

“Downing Street spads placing bets on the date of the election is more of a case of insider trading. It is not inherently illegal to bet on something about which you have privileged or inside information. Professional gamblers make a living by knowing more about the love lives of goalkeepers and the fitness of greyhounds than the bookies.

“Using restricted information is not, in other words, a very big deal normally. The employer, Rishi Sunak, has indeed taken action by suspending the candidates under investigation, and those involved are unlikely to complain if the bookies void the bets. Political betting is a tiny niche of the gambling industry that acts more or less as a publicity-generating loss leader. Bookies frequently offer punters odds on events that they know some people have prior knowledge of and limit stakes accordingly. No one is forcing them to take the bets. Sunak’s buddies sticking a few quid on the date of election is more pathetic than anything else. It looks grubby, but it does not justify two weeks of breathless headlines.”

Read Christopher’s full piece here.

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