TVT Vault: Can crew gamble online in Reality TV outcomes?

In 2017 TV Tonight posed a question to networks and production companies.

There’s been speculation that Justin Narayan’s win on MasterChef Australia was spoiled due to betting placed on him following the filming of the finale in May.

Reports also suggest that just one ending was shot, instead of alternate endings.

In 2017 TV Tonight asked both networks and production companies if they had any rules around crew waging money on Reality TV outcomes:

If you are a die-hard fan of Reality TV you can put your money where your finger is and wager a bet on who will win your favourite show. If you’re lucky you might enjoy a small win.

But if you work in Reality Television and you have helped film shows, then your chance of winning increases significantly.

With a few notable exceptions, most Reality TV is not Live, often filmed months in advance. Even in the case of “dual endings” filmed crew know who finalists are. So is it fair that they can win money, and more to the point, are staff given any directives about whether they can or can’t bet on shows they have worked on?

TV Tonight put that question to 3 networks:

Seven Network which produces My Kitchen Rules and House Rules internally said, “We have confidentiality and workplace obligations in place in relation to the production of our television programmes.”

Nine Network said, “There is no formal policy about it.”

Network TEN declined to comment.

Often episodes are delivered relatively late to networks and, to keep their content under wraps sometimes only a handful of staff are given access. But production company crews can be far larger.

ITV Studios Australia who produce I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, The Voice, Hell’s Kitchen Australia & Cannonball, said, “ITV is aware that some of the reality and entertainment programs it produces are capable of being wagered on. For the majority of those programs, such as The Voice Australia, the voting outcome is revealed Live and can change throughout broadcast. The result is kept strictly confidential, is known by only a small number of key personnel and is subject to internal controls. This can include external audit, as is the case for The Voice Australia. For all of our programs, our staff are subject to policies concerning conflicts of interest and the misuse of confidential information. The identity of the winner or outcome from a series is confidential information. We remind all ITV personnel that such information cannot be disclosed (including publication on social media) and can only be used for the purpose of performing their duties (not for online betting, which would be a clear misuse of confidential company information).”

Warner Bros Television (The Bachelor / The Bachelorette) declined to comment.

Endemol Shine Australia (Australian Survivor, MasterChef Australia, Australian Ninja Warrior, Married at First Sight, Australia’s Next Top Model, The Wall) declined to comment.

And what about betting companies? Are they leaving themselves open to abuse by insiders who may exploit the outcome?

A spokesperson from SportsBet, which has accepted bids on the Academy Awards, Eurovision, The Bachelor & Australian Survivor said it often receives requests for TV show betting.

“All our betting markets on pre-recorded shows come with a disclaimer that the show is pre-recorded and the result may or may not be known in advance.

“Novelty betting is for entertainment purposes and does not allow for large betting stakes associated with sports and racing events.

“Sportsbet is never aware of the result and has seen recently shows where our favourite who was the best backed be beaten (Masterchef, Hell’s Kitchen).”

Gambling Help Online

Originally published September 28th 2017

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