The Great British Bake Off television program has been rocked by claims of a £10,000 betting scandal involving BBC employees.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes has launched a full-scale probe after they found 42 new gambling accounts, which have been created with links to BBC workers and Love Productions, the independent production company behind Bake Off. Ladbrokes first raised concerns about insider betting on the pre-recorded show in August.
In total, the bookies have taken 529 bets through the suspicious accounts, which were created 72 hours before the Bake Off launch, with a potential payout of about £10,000.
It seems that people involved weren’t clever enough as they used their own names as well as the names of relatives for those accounts.
“Even when we made the price very short so they wouldn’t win much they continued to try to put more money on and at this stage there were more contestants left in the competition than there are now, but it was clear they seemed to know the winner and it looks like it was a case of insider trading,” source told The Mirror.
Ladbrokes is considering no longer taking bets on this type of show after the scandal.
“We flagged at the start of the series that we thought something smelled a bit strange,” said David Williams, head of media at Ladbrokes. “We are looking into it further. If we feel we’ve had the equivalent of a custard pie thrown in our faces we will think twice about whether we should bet on markets like this again in the future.”
The finale of the show, which will see Ian Cumming, Nadiya Hussain and Tamal Ray compete to be crowned champion baker, airs on Wednesday night but was recorded weeks ago.
Love Productions said that it was “surprised” Ladbrokes would take a risk running bets on a pre-recorded show.
“Everyone who works on the production of the Bake Off series is bound by confidentiality,” said Love Productions spokeswoman. “We take any allegation of breach extremely seriously, although we have not been presented with any evidence to support such a claim.”