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CFTC Must Reject Dangerous Election Gambling Proposal

Public Citizen Submits Forceful Comment as Deadline Approaches

Washington, D.C. —  Today, Public Citizen submitted a comment to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) forcefully opposing betting startup Kalshi’s proposal to coordinate large-scale gambling on U.S. election outcomes. The CFTC issued a request for comment on the case late last month, with a deadline of July 24, 2023.

In their comment on behalf of Public Citizen, government ethics expert Craig Holman, Ph.D. and Public Citizen executive vice president Lisa Gilbert outline the ways in which election gambling presents a threat to the integrity of our democracy — which include eroding public trust in our electoral system and further incentivizing wealthy special interests to spend massive amounts of money to tip the scales in a direction that benefits them.

“Sanctioning gambling on U.S. election outcomes would effectively turn our electoral system into a financial game for the rich and powerful, undermining the will of voters,” said Craig Holman, Ph.D., a government ethics expert with Public Citizen. “To safeguard the integrity of our democracy, the CFTC must immediately reject Kalshi’s proposal and reaffirm that election gambling is not permitted by the federal government.”

Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen added, “Trust in our elections and faith in government is already at an all-time low. Layering in gambling on our elections will take our democracy in precisely the wrong direction. The CFTC must do the right thing and reject this request.”