Gambling Commission - In-Play (in-running) betting : position paper
As it says on the tin :
Overview of their position :
What is in-play betting?
In-play betting (or in-running or live betting as it is also known) is betting while the event is actually taking place, for example, placing a bet on a horserace while the race is being run, or on a football match whilst it is being played. This form of betting takes place mainly, but not exclusively, on sporting events.
In-play betting is predominantly an online activity with bets being made via the internet using either a betting exchange or a traditional bookmaker’s website, but it also takes place in betting shops or over the phone.
What are the risks to the licensing objectives from in-play betting?
We do not consider, at this time, that in-play betting represents a significant risk to the licensing objectives over and above any other type of gambling. We do however acknowledge that, like other forms of gambling, in-play betting potentially raises a number of issues that could impact on the licensing objectives. These issues can be distilled into three groups:
fairness and transparency of the betting
integrity of the betting
risk of harm within the betting medium.
Fairness and openness
With regard to the issues potentially affecting fairness and openness, such as speed of feeds or use of ‘bots’, in-play betting does not appear to generate specific risks to the licensing objectives as long as bettors are sufficiently aware of their position and the respective positions of other bettors and the betting operators.
This includes ensuring that any information deficit is clearly understood, as are any built-in time delays to operator systems. We do not consider it necessary to intervene to prevent some players using technology advantages, such as faster connectivity speeds, to gain a competitive edge provided it is clear to all players that this can be done.
In relation to betting integrity, there is potential for individuals to exploit in-play betting for criminal or otherwise inappropriate gain. However, other forms of betting also have similar potential for exploitation. We do not consider that in–play betting requires further regulatory controls to those already applied within our wider efforts to maintain integrity in sports betting.
Risk of harm
People who bet in-play may place a higher number of bets in a shorter time period than people who bet in other ways, as in-play betting offers more opportunities to bet. Some studies have shown that placing a high number of bets can be an indication that a bettor may be at risk of harm from gambling. We do not consider that someone who bets in-play is automatically at increased risk of harm from gambling, but expect that licensees will monitor all bettors for signs of risk as required by our Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP).
We conclude that the risk to the licensing objectives from in-play betting is appropriately managed through the current regulatory framework and controls applied by licensees. We will continue to monitor in-play betting for fairness and openness as part of our overall betting compliance programme, and take its particular characteristics into account in our wider work on integrity in sports (and other) betting and gambling related harm.