UKGC Warns Operators On Novelty Bets

Viktor Vangelov | Published 19 Apr 2019, 2:54 p.m.

The UK Gambling Commission doesn’t only deal with issuing restrictive measures and fines for operators that breach rules and regulations, it can also give useful advice and recommendations to operators. This week the Commission advised operators to be careful with novelty betting markets.

It makes sense for operators to take the Commission’s advice in consideration considering that it is in their favour. Operators will sure be careful and try not to lose a lot of funds, especially after the decrease of the maximum limit on fixed odds betting terminals to £2 from £100. There have been calls to limit online gambling in the UK, which could be an additional blow to sports betting and casino operators.

What Are Novelty Markets

Novelty betting markets are markets that cover special events or occurrences that are accidental or unusual. Novelty markets could include betting on whether a certain public figure will do something or not, but also things like – who will be the next Premier League manager to get fired, or who will be named next manager of a particular club. These events can be pretty unpredictable, but what’s even riskier – certain organisations or individuals may be in a position to know the potential outcome which gives them the chance to win a wager.

The Commission advises sports betting operators to be careful with novelty bets and what they allow players to bet on, especially when it comes to markets where the outcome depends on public voting, like reality shows. Operators are recommended to stop accepting bets when the voting process is about to conclude.

After all, there is a period of time when the organisers are aware of the results of the voting, yet the results aren’t published at that point. That information could be used by employees of the organisation that’s in charge of the reality show, or even worse leaked to the public.

Punters Need To Understand What A Bet Entails

Paul Lowery, who is the head of sports trading at Sky gave an opinion on the suggestions stating that the advice is actually meaningful and valid and that operators bear a risk when offering novelty betting markets. He admitted that in cases of reality shows, employees of the company that organises the show might know the outcome, as well as with ‘Next Manager’ market in football betting.

Most operators are aware of the risks and take all steps to ensure that they are well protected. Novelty bets are called novelty bets for a reason, operators offer limited options on these markets and limit the amount that players can wager and win on them.

Punters also need to be aware of the terms and conditions under which these markets are offered. They can easily misunderstand the market and what it entails and think they’ve won when in fact they haven’t and vice-versa.