Transparency to consumers for horse-race pool betting at the end of the exclusive licence

Closed 11 May 2018

Opened 18 Apr 2018

Feedback Updated 21 Jun 2018

We Asked

The Gambling Commission consulted on a proposal to maintain transparency to customers when the exclusive horse-race pool betting licence ends on 12 July this year. To do this, we proposed extending the existing requirement, set out in our Licence conditions and codes of practice, that applied to pool betting on dog races, to also apply to horse-race pool betting.

In proposing this change, we considered that the transparency requirements should apply to all pool betting - for example dogs, horse-race, and football pool betting.

You Said

We received responses from individuals, trade associations and business. The majority were in favour of the proposal for the purposes of transparency to consumers, and consistency between different forms of pool betting.

Two respondents supported the proposals but raised a number of queries about how to interpret the transparency requirements for horse-race pool betting, which they considered to be much more complex than pool betting on dog races and potentially requiring a degree of flexibility to accommodate those complexities.

One respondent considered that the proposals should be extended to cover additional areas such as the source of liquidity in pools.

We Did

We have implemented the extension of existing requirements from pool betting on dog races to other forms of pool betting, including horse-race pool betting. This will come into effect from 13 July.

The detailed questions which were raised by respondents will be addressed in guidance to be made available on our website very shortly. This will set out further guidance on how to interpret the requirements relating to ‘potential dividend returns’ and ‘unit stakes’. This guidance reflects the  principle that consumers understand the bets being offered to them - what they could win in the case of win and place bets or what is available to be won for combination bets.

In due course, we will also issue guidance to businesses on further issues which we consider necessary to maintain basic transparency to consumers. This will cover liquidity and seeding of pools. Operators may choose various strategies to enhance prize pools, examples being but not limited to, offering minimum guaranteed returns or by purchasing entries within the pools (be that directly or indirectly). In circumstances where operators are applying strategies to their own pools, they should make all customers aware.  As a minimum, this information should be included in readily accessible terms and conditions. Operators must ensure that all customers are treated equally through the application of a single pool closing time and the provision of consistent information about pool sizes and selections made.

Results Updated 20 Jun 2018

We have implemented the extension of existing requirements from pool betting on dog races to other forms of pool betting, including horse-race pool betting. This will come into effect from 13 July 2018.

Overview

To maintain transparency to customers when the exclusive horse-race pool betting licence ends on 12 July of this year, we propose to extend the existing requirement, set out in our Licence conditions and codes of practice, that currently applies only to pool betting on dog races to also apply to horse-race pool betting.

Why we are consulting

This is a short consultation that is relevant mainly to businesses that may wish to offer horse-race pool betting on racecourses in the future.

At the moment, horse-race pool betting on racecourses is offered via an exclusive licence (currently held by the Tote (Successor Company) Limited). On 12 July 2018, the exclusive licence for horse-race pool betting at approved racecourses will expire, and from 13 July 2018 horse-race pool betting will be open to the market.
 
The exclusive licence issued to the Tote currently includes requirements to ensure transparency for consumers. These are set out in condition 5 of the exclusive licence, which states:
 
The Licensee must make available on any day a system (referred to as ‘the public display system’) for displaying in a prompt and accurate manner, in respect of each individual pool available on that day wherever, or through whatever means, the Licensee is conducting a pool betting business.
 
However, this requirement will fall away when the exclusive licence expires. 
 
We include requirements for transparency of pool betting on dog races in our Licence conditions and codes of practice - these are set out at Social Responsibility Code 4.2.10. This does not currently apply to horse-race pool betting because that was not necessary under the existing exclusive licence arrangements.
 
In order to ensure that transparency to customers continues, we propose to extend this requirement to include horse-race pool betting, once the exclusive licence ends on 12 July 2018. In making this change, we consider that the transparency requirements should apply to all pool betting - for example, dogs, horse-race and football pool betting.

Audiences

  • Consumer
  • Gambling business

Interests

  • Betting
  • Horse racing
  • Dog racing