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Warning for bookmakers on novelty markets

16 June 2016

We have written to operators regarding media stories suggesting there are issues of integrity linked to betting on television programmes or other novelty markets.

There have been repeated instances of operators offering markets on pre-recorded television programmes such as the Great British Bake Off, Strictly Come Dancing and other novelty markets, following which media reports emerge that suggest there are issues of integrity.

This media reporting appears 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.

In a world of social media and rapid communication, the outcome of these markets is likely to be known to an ever-expanding group of consumers before the result is 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.

As outlined in our Statement of principles for licensing and regulation, amongst other things, we expect operating licence holders, those occupying senior positions within licensed operators and Personal Management Licence (PML) holders 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.

If we become aware that these standards are not being met, we will commence licence reviews with a view to exercising our formal regulatory powers on both the operator and the PML.

Note to editors

  1. More information about how we regulate the gambling industry.
  2. More information about what we do to prevent match-fixing (opens in new tab).
  3. Useful statistics on the gambling industry.

For all media enquiries, please contact the Gambling Commission press office.

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