Legal & RegulatoryIndustry

Betting stopped on Australian of the Year awards over suspected leak

Bookies have stopped taking bets on the Australian of the Year awards as police investigate whether 2020’s winner was leaked.


Deputy Prime Minister Ben Morton asked the Northern Territory Licensing Commission to halt betting while federal authorities conduct a probe into allegations that insiders divulged last year’s victor, Grace Tame.

Tame is a sexual abuse survivor turned activist who won a landmark legal battle in 2019 that overturned Tasmania’s gag laws and allowed her to publicly out her abuser.   

She took home the prestigious award on 26 January during the annual ceremony organised by the National Australia Day Council (NADC), eking out a win against runners-up Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy and former New South Wales Fire Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

But her win is now overshadowed by claims that her victory was leaked before being officially announced.

In the weeks leading up to the announcement in January, odds on Tame to win were slashed from AU$6 to AU$1.36.

This prompted concerns and the matter was referred to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and later, to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

“The Australian Federal Police recently informed me they are investigating a suspected abuse of public office, or the use of insider information, to bet on nominees for the awards,” wrote Morton, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

“While the investigation is ongoing the AFP considers the ability to bet on the awards poses a risk to the integrity and reputation of the awards and has the potential to erode confidence in the NADC.”

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