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Gambling Commission warns UK operators over novelty markets

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.

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