Betting on elections: history, law and policy

Orr, Graeme (2014) Betting on elections: history, law and policy. Federal Law Review, 42 2: 309-331.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Orr, Graeme
Title Betting on elections: history, law and policy
Journal name Federal Law Review
ISSN 0067-205X
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 42
Issue 2
Start page 309
End page 331
Total pages 23
Place of publication Acton, ACT, Australia
Publisher Australian National University Faculty of Law
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Betting on elections has a long history, despite periods in which wagers were unenforceable and even criminalised. In recent years, significant online markets have emerged, driven by the bookmaking industry in those jurisdictions which license betting on politics. These markets treat election wagers as a form of sports betting. This article examines the provenance and regulation of election betting in the common law. It charts this from early case law holding wagers involving electors to be void (as tainting voting decisions) through criminal prohibitions, some of which are still on the statute books (since wagers could disguise electoral bribes) and onto contemporary regimes for licensing electoral bookmaking. Normative arguments about election betting and the law include the liberal harm principle, the precautionary principle and the concept of commodification. The article concludes that friendly wagers should be permitted, to allow partisans to intensify the ritual experience of elections. But bets involving politicians should be outlawed, and the industrialisation of election betting should not be encouraged given the risk of commodifying the values underlying electoral democracy.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
TC Beirne School of Law Publications
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Created: Thu, 04 Dec 2014, 16:38:37 EST by Claire Lam on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law