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Licensees reminded to manage risks associated with unregulated events that threaten betting integrity and consumer confidence

We have received reports from licenced operators relating to suspicious betting activity on sporting events taking place predominantly outside of Great Britain. A number of these events were organised as ‘friendly’ or ‘exhibition matches’ outside of the jurisdiction of a recognised Sports Governing Body (SGB).  Media reports indicated that some of these events had been set up purely for betting purposes, with confusion over whether some of the matches had taken place at all.

It is vital to maintain and protect the integrity of betting and with no SGB oversight, these unregulated events present a much greater risk for corruption and match fixing.  We expect licensees to have robust systems in place to manage these risks. They should also ensure that markets are offered on events that are genuine and are settled fairly.

We expect licensees and those responsible for marketing to:

  • conduct their business with integrity
  • organise and control their affairs responsibly and effectively
  • have adequate systems and controls to keep gambling fair and safe
  • have due regard to the interests of consumers and treat them fairly

Consumers must be confident that they are placing bets on markets that are fair and free from corruption and we would expect operators to conduct thorough due diligence checks on the markets they offer. Markets should not be offered on events where there are concerns relating to the integrity of that event.

Where concerns arise following the event, we would expect licensees to settle bets based upon the facts available on a case by case basis and having due regard to the requirements laid out in the licence conditions and codes of practice, and in line with their own published rules and terms and conditions. We accept that on occasion and in some circumstances, licensees may need to re-visit bet settlements if new information latterly indicates that on the balance of probabilities, an event or market was deemed to be unfair.

Where concerns do exist, a priority for all operators should be that their customers are not disadvantaged and we would expect all licensees to communicate with their customers in a transparent and timely manner.