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Leighton Vaughan Williams

Leighton Vaughan Williams

Staff Group(s)
Applied Economics and Policy (Research Group) Betting Research Unit (Specialist Centre) Department of Economics Political Forecasting Unit (Specialist Centre)


Leighton is Professor of Economics and Finance. He is Head of Economics Research and Director of the Betting Research Unit and Political Forecasting Unit at Nottingham Business School. Leighton's main teaching is in the area of money, risk, forecasting, efficiency of markets and financial economics.

Career overview

Prior to joining Nottingham Trent University, Leighton was Lecturer in economics at the University of East Anglia. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Management, Clark University, Massachusetts, USA.

Research areas

Leighton's research interests include:

  • Risk
  • Asymmetric information
  • Efficiency of markets
  • Economics of gambling
  • Financial, betting and prediction markets
  • Economic and political forecasting

Please visit the NTU Doctoral School website for information on doctoral research opportunities at NBS.

External activity

  • Economic Adviser on taxation, regulation and economic impacts of betting and gaming to HM Revenue and Customs; Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Gambling Commission.
  • Expert witness, Joint Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons and House of Lords on the Gambling Bill
  • Special Adviser to the National Audit Office, Study of Gambling Duties
  • Expert witness, Central Criminal Court ('The Old Bailey') and various domestic and overseas Courts of Law.
  • Expert witness, Department for Culture, Media and Sport Gambling Review Body
  • Expert witness to the Competition Commission on the gambling sector
  • Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society
  • Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Management, Clark University, Massachusetts, USA
  • Director of the 1st to 6th International Conferences on Money, Investment and Risk and of four international conferences on Gambling and Prediction Markets
  • Regular contributor on national TV and radio (including ABC News, BBC News, Radio 4 'Today' programme), and the quality press, including the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, the Financial Times and Business Week.
  • Editor, The Journal of Prediction Markets
  • Editor, The Journal of Gambling Business and Economics
  • Editor, Economic Issues
  • Editorial Board, International Journal of Gambling Studies
  • Academic Board, Asia Pacific Association for Gambling Studies
  • Regular academic blog.
  • Commissioned Editor/Author of major research collections, from over 50 leading academics, for Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Edward Elgar, Routledge.
  • Collaborative work, including editorial, with numerous organisations and academic institutions, including State University of New York (SUNY), Harvard University, Wharton School, Dartmouth College, California Institute of Technology (CalTech), University of Southampton, University of Nottingham, University of Reading.

Sponsors and collaborators

Various sponsored and research and collaborative projects with, for example:

  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • National Audit Office
  • House of Commons / House of Lords
  • Gambling Commission
  • National Lottery Commission
  • Camelot
  • eCogra
  • Intrade
  • Chameleon PR

Press expertise

Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams is an experienced media commentator and can offer expertise on gambling, sports betting, prediction markets and elections, as well as political, sports, special and large event forecasting.

Techniques employed by Leighton were used to correctly call the winner of every state in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 US presidential elections. He also predicted the winning majority in the 2005 British election, and accurately called the outcome of the 2010 and 2015 British elections and the vote shares in the last French presidential election more than two weeks before polling day.

Leighton provided on-going media commentary throughout the British election in 2010 and 2015, including a daily poll blog and statistical analysis for Channel 4 News. During the 2008, 2012 and 2016 US presidential elections, he also provided comments and analysis for many high-profile international news outlets, including Reuters TV and NBC News.

Leighton is also an experienced sports and special events forecaster and provided event forecasts, for example, for Podium, the Further and Higher Education Unit, for the London Olympics.

He is also regularly called on to provide expert analysis and commentary on sports and political betting and the economics and regulation of gambling, in the national and international media, from local radio and regional press to the Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC News and BBC Radio 4.  He is a regular contributor to ‘The Conversation.’