Election Betting Crackdown By Biden Administration Through C.F.T.C.

 May 21, 2024

The electoral process stands guard against the influences of gambling, courtesy of a new rule proposed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

According to Breitbart News, the Biden administration has ordered a ban on 2024 election betting markets, which frequently predict a win for former President Donald Trump.

Rostin Behnam, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, stressed the urgency of the situation, prompted by a noticeable increase in election-related betting activities. This emerging trend, he suggests, necessitates stricter regulatory measures to uphold the sanctity of the democratic process.

Insight Into the Banned Markets and Their Impact

Betting markets had provided a unique lens through which journalists and researchers could view electoral predictions, offering a perspective distinct from traditional polling methods.

However, the proposal encompasses electoral bets and extends to predicting outcomes of popular events such as the Oscars and various sports. Platforms like Kalshi, PredictIt, and Polymarket are among those affected by this sweeping regulation.

Only last September did Kalshi’s request to facilitate a congressional election market meet denial from the C.F.T.C. This was somewhat indicative of the commission’s growing apprehension regarding the influence of these markets.

PredictIt has particularly found itself in the legal limelight. Although managed by Aristotle and in collaboration with the Victoria University of Wellington, its operations face uncertainty, surviving currently due to a court injunction.

The Potential Impact of the Ban on Betting Platforms

Kalshi faced its setbacks when the C.F.T.C. turned down its application to operate political markets, a sign of the increasing scrutiny over such platforms. The deadline to finalize these regulations looms large, with a target set before 2025, marking a significant pivot in how election-related activities are monitored and controlled in the United States.

The chairman’s resolve is evident as he aims to tighten, rather than relax, the oversight of these markets. The growth in contracts seeking listing on commercial exchanges necessitates, in his view, a firmer hand in regulation to preserve the core values of the electoral process.

Rostin Behnam articulated his stance, underscoring the essential protection of election integrity and democracy. The New York Times’ Jeff Sommer reported:

But, he said it’s urgent to rein in the markets now because there has been an exponential growth in the contracts that are, or want to be, listed on commercial exchanges. My goal is to raise the bar for regulation in the United States, not lower it. Election integrity and the democratic process need to be protected.

Future Directions and Final Thoughts

This measure reflects a broader intention to safeguard the foundations of democracy from potential harms speculated to stem from gambling on political outcomes. These proposed regulations by the C.F.T.C. indicate a larger movement possibly shaping future policies surrounding election-related activities.

The evolution of betting laws could redefine how political engagement and public perception are managed, highlighting the balance between innovative market practices and preserving democratic integrity.

As we look toward a finalized rule mandate by 2025, the landscape of political betting and its related areas are poised for significant transformation. A new era of regulation beckons, one that may redefine the interface between politics, public interest, and market-driven predictions.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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