Novelty wagers are a major trend in the sportsbetting market, allowing punters to bet on a wide range of topics. Election betting is becoming very popular in the novelty wagering market, and some political analysts argue that the activity should be banned for some individuals. In a report by the Brisbane Times, University of Queensland law professor Graeme Orr argues that election betting is harmful – especially when politicians are taking part.

He compares it to athletes getting involved in sportsbetting markets, compromising the integrity of the sport and leading to possible manipulation. Professor Orr has published a paper on the topic. In it, he states that the increasingly popularity of novelty betting has the potential to demean the democratic process. "There is an analogy with match-fixing in sport," he wrote.

"It may be a weak one, as long as political markets are confined to significant events like seat outcomes or leadership contests, where participants have limited control but high intrinsic motivation to succeed. But the analogy is real”. He suggests that the government conduct an investigation into betting agencies and their practices. In most states across Australia, it is illegal for bookmakers to offer election betting.

However, several online betting services still allow these types of wagers. Professor Orr believes that election betting should be banned across the entire market – at both online and land-based bookmakers. Sportsbetting and race betting continue to remain the most popular markets in the industry, and election betting does not bring in anywhere near as much revenue.

However, the trouble it can cause is just as – if not more – detrimental. Government officials have yet to respond to Orr’s request for an investigation into bookmakers. However, we will keep you updated as this situation develops.