Betting company sparks anger by ‘cashing in’ on Australia same-sex marriage vote
A bookmaker has insisted it is not distasteful to let people bet on whether Australia will continue to ban gay people from getting married.
Australia is currently holding a public vote on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, at the behest of the country’s right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Though the Yes camp held a lead going into the vote, polling shows that the race has narrowed significantly, as anti-LGBT activists reap the rewards of a US-style scaremongering campaign and well-funded advertising blitz.
As ‘No’ picks up steam, there is growing distress among the LGBT community over fears they will be denied equality, while the vote has also led to a surge in homophobic hate incidents.
But one betting company in the country is trying to cash in by offering people the chance to bet on the result.
Sportsbet is operating a betting market on the result – currently offers odds of 1.35 for a ‘Yes’ vote and 3.0 for a ‘No’, favouring a ‘Yes’ victory.
Voters are also available on the turnout for the vote and the percentage that will be received by each side.
The site is even using sponsored ads to target people online and advertise the chance to bet on the outcome.
But LGBT activists have accused the betting company of insensitivity by letting people gamble on human rights.
Alex Greenwich MP, the head of Australian Marriage Equality and: “To vote on the validity of some Australians’ relationships is bad enough, but to bet on them is a whole new low.”
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