Conspicuous betting movements at this year’s award ceremony in Australia
Suspicion of Fraud: No betting on the “Australian of The Year” Award Ceremony
Australian authorities have officially suspended betting on the upcoming “Australian of the Year” award ceremony.
The background to this is evidence that the name of last year’s winner of the award may have been leaked prematurely. Shortly before the announcement, there had been conspicuous betting movements.
Now the Australian Federal Police are investigating.
Betting Fraud at Awards Ceremony?
Every year around 25 January, the bank holidays Australia Day, the Australian of the Year is honored at a festive ceremony. Usually, bookmakers also benefit from this. Betting on the outcome is part of the award ceremony for many Australians.
This year, however, the offer will be canceled. The Northern Territory Licensing Commission has removed the Australian of the Year 2021 from the list of events that can be officially bet on.
The betting off was done at the initiative of Deputy Minister for Public Affairs Ben Morton. He had told media that the Federal Police AFP had recently informed him that they were investigating allegations of abuse of public office or use of inside information in betting on the award.
Investigators also believe that betting on the awards poses a risk to the integrity and reputation of the awards. There was also a risk of undermining confidence in the bank holidays as a whole, they said.
Australia’s Defence Minister Peter Dutton also spoke out, saying:
“Australians like to bet, but they want to be sure that their bets are in a fair market, that they are not rigged, and that they are not corrupted, and there are current allegations that need to be investigated.”
Odds Plunge on Betting on Awards Ceremony
The background for the suspension is conspicuous betting movements at this year’s award ceremony. On 24 January 2021, it was announced that 26-year-old Grace Tame would receive the award two days later.
Tame had made public sexual abuse by her former teacher. The ensuing trial had laid the groundwork for a far-reaching change in the law regarding the issue.
In the run-up to the award ceremony, her competitors had been given significantly higher chances of winning the award than Tame. It was only shortly before the announcement of the winner that the tide turned. Whereas her betting odds had initially been 6 CAD, they dropped almost abruptly to only 1.36 CAD.
Australians will have to wait a few more weeks for the official decision on which countryman or countrywoman has made an exceptional contribution in 2021. Meanwhile, Time magazine has already decided who it will name “Person of the Year.”
As announced yesterday, Elon Musk (50) is “perhaps the best example of a massive change in our society.” As a “mixture of clown, genius, visionary, showman and entrepreneur,” the Tesla and SpaceX founder is one of the most influential people on earth.
Leak within the Australian-of-the-Year Organization?
The conspicuous competition movements aroused suspicion that there might have been a leak within the Australian-of-the-Year organization. The laureate herself had only found out about the award with the public and was thus ruled out as a suspect.
However, about 180 people had already been informed about the election result since December. All those responsible had signed confidentiality clauses and agreed to a ban on betting on the award ceremony.
Time will tell to what extent the possible leak can be cleared up. It is also unclear whether the betting ban is temporary or may also apply to future awards ceremonies.