Public News Service: Feds Consider Whether to Allow Betting on Election Outcomes
Stephen Spaulding, vice president of policy for the nonprofit Common Cause, said gambling on elections is bad for democracy.
"You can imagine wealthy gamblers could make significant money by exploiting disinformation to influence an electoral outcome that would protect the bettors' bottom line," Spaulding pointed out. "This again opens up a significant risk to the perception that the winners and losers of an election are not determined by voters, but by those who stand to gain financially."
Spaulding noted the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision allowed companies to spend unlimited money on elections, and called betting on elections a "profound threat to democracy."
"You can imagine a situation where an entity places an enormous wager on the outcome of an election, and also funnels resources through Super PACs or other 'dark money' vehicles to influence the outcome of an election," Spaulding explained. "That is inherently, we think, anti-democratic."
Both Common Cause and some U.S. senators, including California's Dianne Feinstein, submitted letters of opposition during the public comment period, which ended in July. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is expected to make a decision by Sept. 21.