UKGC outlines new guidelines on settling bets

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released a number of ‘top tips’ for operators to ensure that bets are being settled in accordance with the regulator’s social responsibility code provision 4.2.6.

The advice comes after the UKGC has been made aware of operators breaching the licence conditions and codes of practice, examples of which have included “using a new settlement mechanic for foreign racing, applying Rule 4 using an alternative methodology and the inaccurate settlement of bets due to rounding”.

The UKGC has previously cracked down on the application of rule 4 by bookmakers. Rule 4 relates to the reduction of winnings when a horse you have backed wins or is placed.

A rule 4 is used when a horse is withdrawn from a race because it becomes easier for the other runners to win. An amount of money is taken out of winnings to balance the effect of the non-runner.

The new advice follows on from a previous UKGC crack down on the use of rule 4 in racing after evidence was found to suggest that “that bookmakers had deliberately shortened 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”.

In a move to ensure that “customers can trust their bets will be settled in accordance with an operator’s published rules”, Graham Burgin has set out a number of recommendations for operators.

He suggested: “Ensure your rules are updated to reflect any learning highlighted through your own complaints processes and ADR resolutions.

“In addition to published rules, you should use additional methods to notify customers of change. In betting shops, this could be through information provision on premises screens, over the audio network, through staff and on betting slips and receipts. For online operators, this could be through information provision on relevant market screens, through pop-ups and on betting receipts.

“Make sure that consistent information is provided. For example, your published rules should not conflict with information displayed on a market screen or available through ‘Help’ or ‘FAQ’ pages.”

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