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UKGC advises operators to reassess novelty market approach

Earlier this week, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) released its latest advice to operators, suggesting that they should be reassessing their approach to allowing customers to wager bets on novelty markets.

The regulator has strongly suggested that, in relation to markets centred around reality tv shows dependent on public voting, operators should cease to accept bets “in parallel to the public voting concluding.”

The UKGC expressed concern over the time lag between the conclusion of voting and the official announcement of results. This could prompt advanced information being leaked to punters wishing to place bets.

Head of sports trading at Sky Betting and Gaming, Paul Lowery, commented on the suggestions: “I think the advice is valid as it serves as a reminder that there is risk for the operator in offering any novelty market where results are potentially known by employees of the show. This is the same for any market of this nature, be it Politics or “Next Manager” markets in football.

“However, most operators treat these markets as the name suggests; as a novelty and betting limits reflect this. With the correct care and due diligence from the bookmaker these markets can be managed accordingly and seen as a great unique selling point.”

Both operators and punters need to be aware of the intricacies of the market, which can pose risks in itself.

Lowery continued: “From the customer’s perspective the biggest risk is inexperience or misunderstanding the terms under which the bet is placed. Be aware of what you are betting on and read the rules or market notes thoroughly before placing your bet and if the market notes seem unclear seek clarification from the bookmaker. It’s likely your question will prompt them to make the market notes or rules easier to understand for everyone.

“These markets are offered as a bit of fun; in all likelihood your bet will be for a small stake and to add an interesting element or opinion to your viewing. Bookmakers will trade these markets based on the money coming in and may be aggressive with price changes if the books are too one sided.

“They will rarely take their own opinions too strongly into account so if you don’t want any potential clues or spoilers to a result it might be better to avoid looking at the markets completely in close proximity!”

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