Good news from the world of sports betting

Photo of David Foster of the Sport and Recreation AllianceDavid Foster, the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s UK and EU regulatory officer talks about the battle to maintain sports betting.

Following close engagement with the sport sector, the Government has put forward welcome proposals to regulate overseas bookies who take bets in the UK.

The Draft Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill will, for the first time, regulate operators at the point of consumption, rather than at the point of sale.

This will mean that operators will be fully bound by the Gambling Commission’s licensing arrangements in the same way that UK based companies are.

Crucially, from a sports betting integrity standpoint, operators will be obliged to provide information on suspicious betting patterns in accordance with Licence Condition 15.1.

This is a very welcome step that will help to safeguard the integrity of sport from corrupt betting activity and is something that the Sports Betting Group (SBG) – which is chaired and co-ordinated by the Sport and Recreation Alliance – has been advocating for some time.

Aside from this statutory information sharing agreement, the Gambling Commission will also now receive additional revenues from operating licence fees, which will be used to treat problem gambling and cover broader regulatory costs.

The Bill will be subjected to pre-legislative scrutiny by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee before it enters Parliament.

The SBG and the Alliance will take this opportunity to engage with MPs and civil servants to ensure that the legislation addresses our key policy priorities in this area.

It is worth noting that this announcement does not deal with the taxation of remote gambling as this is being dealt with as a separate issue by the Treasury.

Following a public consultation earlier this summer, it is expected that the Treasury will come forward with its proposals at some point in the new year.

Hopefully, this positive step by the Government will be the first of many as sport is still in need of a more robust legislative infrastructure to fully protect itself from the threats posed to integrity by corrupt betting.

For more information contact David Foster.

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