Merkley Applauds Federal Agency Rejecting Proposal to Bet on US Congressional Elections

Senator Led Colleagues in Urging CFTC to Reject KalshiEX LLC’s Congressional Control Contracts Proposal

Washington, D.C. – Today, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley applauded the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) for rejecting a proposal by a private prediction market operator that would have allowed for legal gambling on U.S. elections and party control in Congress.

“The CFTC and federal regulators made the right decision to reject Kalshi’s proposal and previous applications for election gambling,” said Merkley. “We cannot allow the creation of an election casino which has the danger to further increase election interference and erode trust in our election systems.”

This week, Merkley penned an op-ed outlining his concerns about election betting and its potential to destroy American democracy.

“Allowing betting on elections would be a radical departure for American democracy. It would enrich the few at the expense of the many. It would threaten the integrity and sanctity of our elections. And it would undermine the voice of the American people,” wrote Merkley in an MSNBC op-ed.

In August, Merkley led Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in sending a letter to the CFTC urging Chairman Rostin Behnam to reject Kalshi’s pending proposal that could allow for legal gambling on U.S. elections and their outcomes.

“There is no doubt that the mass commodification of our democratic process would raise widespread concerns about the integrity of our electoral process. Such an outcome is in clear conflict with the public interest and would undermine confidence in our political process — we urge the CFTC to deny Kalshi’s proposal,” the lawmakers wrote in August.