Gambling Commission issues new guidelines for settling bets

Updated: 25/11/2022

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued guidelines to help operators comply with the regulations surrounding the settling of bets.

Horses during a race

The UKGC has warned operators about the use of Rule 4. © Pixabay.

Settling bets correctly relates to the Commission’s social responsibility code provision 4.2.6. The Commission has received information that some operators have been using alternate mechanics to settle bets, which would be in breach of legislation and licensing conditions.

Specifically, the Commission has been informed that some operators have been applying Rule 4. Rule 4 relates to winnings being reduced in the case of a horse an individual backed winning, due to other horse(s) being withdrawn from the race, theoretically making it easier for the backed horse to win.

Previously, the UKGC had cracked down on operators found to be applying Rule 4 to “deliberately shorten the odds of known or likely non-runners in order to maximise Rule 4 deductions for their own commercial gain to the disadvantage of consumers”. The Commission has therefore made a number of recommendations that operators should adhere to.

Reminder of novelty market bets’ risks

The Commission has also published a reminder to operators of the risk of novelty bets and asked them to cease taking live novelty bets.

Publishing a news article on its website, the Commission reminded operators that potential time lags between live novelty bets and the announcements of the winners could lead to the bets being compromised. A statement read:

We are advising operators to reassess their approach to offering bets on reality tv shows dependent on public voting. We know that markets on shows such as the X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing are remaining open until the result of voting is officially announced. However, because there can be a time lag between the conclusion of the voting and the official announcement, there is a risk people linked to the programme could use or share this information to place bets. To mitigate this risk we are advising operators to consider ceasing to accept bets in parallel to the public voting concluding. Statement, UK Gambling Commission

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