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Bookies are taking bets over marriage equality result in Australia

Bookies are taking bets over marriage equality result in Australia

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People have expressed outrage over a major betting company’s decision to take bets over the result of national marriage equality poll in Australia.

Sportsbet has offered several wagering options on the country’s non-binding postal survey on marriage equality. Australians are being asked whether they agree the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The ‘yes’ odds are quite short currently at $1.38 compared to that of the possibility of a majority ‘no’ result at $3.00.

But even the favourable odds have not stopped the Yes Campaign from criticizing the decision to run betting options on the postal survey.

‘To vote on the validity of some Australians’ relationships is bad enough, but to bet on them is a whole new low,’ Sydney MP and Australian Marriage Equality co-chair Alex Greenwich told ABC Online.

Greenwich described the betting options  – which include wagers on how many votes will be cast and the final survey results – as a ‘whole new low’.

 

‘I think Sportsbet, to be making money on this process, is deeply concerning,’ he said.

‘This is not something gay people in Australia want to be put through but we are doing everything we can to win it.’

Greenwich called for the money Sportsbet makes from the wagers to be donated to LGBTI mental health services.

Bets are just another market

A Sportsbet spokesman told the ABC they couldn’t see the problem with betting on the result of the same-sex marriage postal survey.

‘In many ways it’s a poll to see what punters are saying, and markets like these are not renowned for big bets,’ the spokesman said.

‘There are more bets on the No vote individually, but we’ve taken about 40 per cent more money on the Yes side

‘It’s just a market — anyone can vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and more people are willing to put their money on ‘yes’ so I guess people are sympathising really.

The spokesman denied betting on the survey results could add to the distress LGBTI people have already faced during the postal survey.

‘I think the postal vote is distressing people, not the market, because this has been here for five years,’ they said.