The X Factor has been hit by a betting scandal following an investigation into suspicious betting patterns.
Betfair drew the UK Gambling Commission's attention to suspicious betting patterns of three Virgin Media employees during last year's X Factor series. The resulting probe resulted in voiding orders being placed on bets totaling more than £16,000.
An Inside Job
The investigation centered around three individuals employed by phone line operator Virgin Media. The trio was deemed to have abused insider knowledge of voting patterns to place bets on weekly X Factor eliminations.
"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," said Nick Tofiluk, Director of Regulation for the Gambling Commission.
Virgin has since sacked all three dodgy dealers.
Steps Taken to Prevent Recurrence
The Gambling Commission was keen to assure the public of the credibility of X Factor voting stating, "There is no evidence that the integrity of the public voting or the TV shows involved were compromised."
A Virgin Media spokesman added, "We have since introduced additional monitoring to our systems to ensure this cannot happen again."
Reality TV Betting
Reality TV betting is a popular trend, particularly among women. William Hill currently has a range of bets on the popular American Idol 2011 show.
Bets for Outright Winner are currently listed at:
- 5/4 Scotty McCreery
- 3/1 Lauren Alaina
- 10/3 James Durbin
Betting is an ideal supplement to reality TV and many viewers vote with their hearts by backing their favorite contestant as opposed to studying the odds.
American Idol viewers can bet on outright winner, top male, top female and gender of winner.
Whilst the Virgin scandal leaves a sour taste, we doubt it will spoil the excitement of reality TV betting which is going from strength to strength.