Gambling Commission voids X Factor Bets

13/04/2011

The Gambling Commission (the Commission) has today concluded an investigation into suspicious betting patterns involving employees of Virgin Media and has decided to void bets totalling over £16,000 placed on TV’s the X Factor. The voiding orders, the first of their kind under the Gambling Act 2005, follow a Commission investigation into a report of suspicious betting activity brought to our attention by Betfair’s Integrity Unit.  No other major betting operators were involved.

The investigation established that individuals employed by phone line operator Virgin Media were misusing their access to Virgin’s data on voting patterns to place unfair bets on which contestants would be eliminated from the X Factor. There is no evidence that the integrity of the public voting or the TV shows involved were compromised.  However, the Commission has consulted with Ofcom, which has been working with Virgin Media and other relevant stakeholders, to ensure that firm steps are taken to prevent a repeat of such activity.

Commenting on the case, the Gambling Commission’s Director of Regulation, Nick Tofiluk said:

“Following a multi-agency investigation led by the Gambling Commission, we are satisfied that the bets placed were substantially unfair as the individuals involved had inside information.  We have worked closely with all the bodies involved to ensure that those individuals do not profit from their activity and that appropriate action has been taken to prevent a recurrence of such activity in the future.”

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