The Gambling Commission has announced it will deal ‘more severely’ with any novelty betting markets which do not maintain the standards required.
Tabcorp UK which runs SunBets on behalf of News international now have conditions around novelty betting attached to its gambling licence and been ordered to pay £84,000 to socially responsible causes after a investigation by the regulator.
The investigation found the Tabcorp had failed to properly risk assess two novelty betting markets offered during an FA cup tie between Sutton United v Arsenal on 20 February 2017.
One of the markets was dependent on a football player eating a pie during the match and the other was dependent on a streaker running across the pitch.
Richard Watson, Gambling Commission programme director, said: “Novelty betting markets, such as the market Tabcorp UK offered on last year’s FA Cup tie between Sutton United v Arsenal, may seem like a bit of fun but the consequences were serious – with the potential to encourage someone to commit a criminal act or breach a sports governing bodies’ rules.”
Tabcorp UK accepted it should not have placed reliance on the eating of a pie being broadcast live on the BBC as being sufficient to fully manage potential integrity risks.
It also accepts that it was inappropriate to offer markets on an event which would involve the commission of a criminal offence.
The Commission published a statement explaining the seriousness of the matter: “Betting operators licensed in June 2016 were all warned about the risks of novelty markets. We will deal more severely with any operator who disregards the guidance outlined in that document and this report.
“Operators offering novelty markets must demonstrate a robust management of the associated risks in order to ensure they uphold the licensing objectives. It is not acceptable to offer novelty markets which could induce a criminal offence, a breach of a sports governing body’s rules, or which give rise to unacceptable risks to betting integrity.”