The UK Gambling
Commission has written to operators to warn them about facilitating betting on
television programmes and other novelty markets.
The regulator said
that there had been repeated instances of operators offering markets on
pre-recorded TV programmes such as Great British Bake Off, Strictly Come
Dancing, and other novelty markets, which have attracted media attention over
issues of integrity.
Richard Watson, the
Gambling Commission’s programme director of enforcement and intelligence, said
that the media reporting appeared to have originated from the operators
themselves who purport to have either over-exposed their liability or
identified integrity concerns tenuously linked to the programme or event.
“This is damaging both
to those involved in producing and broadcasting such programmes and to the
public who enjoy them; it is also harmful to the wider perception of gambling
in Great Britain,” he wrote in the letter.
Watson pointed out
that in a world of social media and rapid communication, the outcome of these
markets was likely to be known to an ever-expanding group of consumers before
the result was formally announced.
“We therefore require
operators of these markets to demonstrate a robust management of the associated
risks in order to ensure they uphold the licensing objectives,” he said.
The letter concluded
by reminding operators that if the appropriate standards were not being met, it
would commence licence reviews with a view to exercising its formal regulatory
powers on both the operator and the Personal Management Licence (PML) holder
responsible for marketing.