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Settling bets in accordance with published rules

We expect gambling to be fair and open, so it’s important that customers can trust their bets will be settled in accordance with an operator’s published rules.

Social responsibility code provision 4.2.6 requires that licensees must set within their rules the core elements for the acceptance and settlement of bets. The rules must cover, by way of example, the circumstances under which bets will be void, treatment of errors, late bets and related contingencies, maximum payout limiting liabilities and the means or medium by which the outcome of the event will be determined.

During our compliance and enforcement activity we have seen instances were the code provision was breached and we have therefore devised some top tips to help operators comply with our expectations:

  • regularly review your published rules to ensure they are accurate
  • ensure your rules are updated to reflect any learning highlighted through your own complaints processes and ADR resolutions
  • you must plan ahead. Updated rules must be published on the date amendments take effect
  • in addition to published rules, you should use additional methods to notify customers of change. In betting shops, this could be through information provision on premises screens, over the audio network, through staff and on betting slips and receipts. For online operators, this could be through information provision on relevant market screens, through pop-ups and on betting receipts
  • before launching new betting markets, ensure that current rules are applicable and/or new rules are introduced where required
  • make sure that consistent information is provided. For example, your published rules should not conflict with information displayed on a market screen or available through ‘Help’ or ‘FAQ’ pages
  • ensure software updates are managed effectively and tested to ensure accurate settlement is maintained
  • where settlement issues do occur, you must divest monies accrued contrary to published rules. This should be to the affected customers. However, where these can’t be readily identified, operators should contact the Commission to agree divestment as a totalised donation to an appropriate body involved in the delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

A note on divestment

Divestment relates to monies accrued where customers have been disadvantaged by settlement contrary to published rules. The divestment figure must not be offset by any monies that may have been overpaid to customers by way of the same failure to settle bets in line with published rules.

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