Sportsbet defends offering odds on marriage survey outcome

Online betting agency Sportsbet have defended their decision to promote betting on the outcome of the marriage postal survey.

OUTinPerth readers have expressed their concern about the betting option which is being widely promoted across social media.

Alex Greenwich, co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality described the company’s promotion as a “whole new low”.

“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 prominent Yes figure Alex Greenwich told the ABC.

“I think Sportsbet, to be making money on this process, is deeply concerning,”Greenwich said suggesting that the company may want to consider donating their profits from the exercise to charity.

Appearing on Perth radio station 6PR a spokesperson for the company said a minority group was complaining about the company’s actions.

“For the last five years we’ve had markets up on ‘when will same-sex marriage be legalised?’, ‘will it be conscience vote?’ No one said ‘Boo’, but all of a sudden a minority group seems to be pretty upset that we’ve got the market up, I guess they weren’t watching for the last five years.” Christian Jantzen from Sportsbet said.

While the company is claiming that nobody has ever previously criticised them for betting of this nature, there was an article in The Daily Mail back in August, in 2015 they were criticised for taking bets on what Caitlin Jenner’s post-transition name would be, a similar article also appeared at SBS, and OUTinPerth previously published an editorial describing how insulting their press releases on the issue are.

Harvey Deegan, the fill-in host of Perth Live said his view was that the postal survey was something that was happening in Australia and nobody was being forced to take part in the betting process.

Jantzen said the betting on the postal survey fell under their ‘political'[ category and was a novelty bet.

“It’s considered a novelty bet, it’s pretty much for entertainment, it’s nothing too serious.”

Jantzen said that the company offers lots of bets on novelty issues, citing that the company even allows you to be on when interest rates might go up.

“That affects people’s loves and we don’t get any criticism about that, you can even bet on Sophie Monk – who’ll she’ll marry next. Who’s going to be the bloke to get her in The Bachelorette.”

The spokesman said that many bookmakers were offering odds on the outcome of the postal survey and they were united as an industry.

“I think we can stand together on this one and say ‘C’mon Australia, lighten up, this is purely a novelty bet, don’t take it too seriously!”

OIP Staff

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