While the normally shy and quiet Swedes get ready for one of the country’s biggest pre-selections for the Eurovision during the next couple of weeks, Swedish police are investigating the possible manipulation of internet gambling odds of the perspective winner. Melodifestivalen and Eurovision are TV shows similar to the popular American Idol, where a mix of established and unknown singers and musicians perform individually for the TV audience. The viewers and judges vote to determine which performer moves on to the next round and which is asked to leave.
A large portion of the Swedish audience gambles at online casinos trying to predict not only who the eventual winner is, but which contestant will be eliminated next and the names of the final three. This form of gambling is perfectly legal under Swedish gambling laws. Some of the betting options offer substantial odds to a lucky winner. Mr. Christer Björkman hosts, owns and produces the show. He created the rules and picks out the song selection each round. The eventual winner is announced on March 13 each year.
Swedish police are investigating allegations regarding the final four (quintilla) and three (trifecta) wagering option offered for the past five years at online casino in Sweden. Since each individual performer has their own odds, depending on the likelihood of winning, rumors have been circulating that the #2, #3, or #4 place is always suspiciously reserved for a high odds, ‘dark horse’ contender. Mr. Anderssen, who describes himself as a fanatical fan explains “Imagine people vote on a list of most talented movie stars, and the announced results are: Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Weird Al Yankovic and Al Pacino. Wouldn’t that be suspicious?” Police are trying to answer that question, but so far refused to comment about an ongoing investigation.