Insider trading on Survivor

Fifteen people from Vancouver, British Columbia, placed disproportionate bets on Survivor-winner Sandra even before the first episode aired. As a result, BetWWTS.com ended betting on Survivor back in September, thinking that something was up and they stood to lose a great deal of money. They ended up losing $40,000 on the mere $5,000 in bets they took in before shutting down wagering on Survivor.

Granted, no-one knew that Sandra had won until this Sunday when the jury’s decision was announced. But they could have known that Sandra was one of the final two, and bet accordingly. Clearly someone at CBS was leaking, and it was someone with a connection to the Vancouver area.

All of this shows why allowing betting on activities that are merely secret, as opposed to not yet complete, is rarely a good idea. There are too many opportunities for opportunists to get greedy and place some wagers — and that is certainly worth remembering in this age of unlimited online betting markets.

Related posts:

  1. Minimax, and the economics of “Survivor”