With Australia’s 2010 elections underway, federal MP Michael Johnson has called for a ban election betting. While Johnson is not opposed to casual betting between friends in the local pub, he feels institutionalized betting on Australian elections should be stopped. Johnson is calling for a change to be made to Australian gambling laws forbidding high street bookies and online sportsbooks from offering odds on national elections.
“It’s entirely inappropriate for Australians to bet on the result of an election,” said Johnson. “Just like the next guy I enjoy betting on two flies (going) up a wall. I just think something like the result of an election, money shouldn’t be put on it, given the seriousness of it.”
“There’s just something undignified about it. Betting and gambling is already a huge problem in our country.”
In addition to feeling that elections are too serious to be wagered on, it seems Johnson is also concerned with the possibility that heavy betting on state and national elections at online sportsbooks in Australia could affect the outcome of elections. “It might allow some political parties to engage in some sort of rorting,” the concerned MP explained. (‘Rort’ is a verb commonly used in Australia and New Zealand referring to the action of defrauding.)
Johnson is running as an independent candidate running for the Brisbane seat of Ryan after being expelled from the Liberal National Party. Online sportsbook Centrebet gives him odds of 21.00, the same as Sandra Bayley (GRN). Contenders Steve Miles (ALP) and Jane Pretntice (LNP) are favored at 2.00 and 1.72, respectively. Surely his position as the outsider in this race has nothing to do with his dislike for election betting?