Find a way to beat nimble-fingered punters.
That was directive the UK Gambling Commission had for operators after it concluded that in-play edges such as courtsiding don’t require further regulatory measures.
Courtsiding is a practice of relaying information from sporting events to bettors, or of placing bets directly from a sporting event such as tennis. Recently, the practice—along with other edges including high-speed internet and advanced computer software—started drawing flak allegedly because it enabled players to get favorable in-play odds.
On Monday, the gambling regulator published a paper addressing the issue, in which it determined that there’s no need for additional controls over in-play betting since operators could “set their own time-delay standards for live betting and cash-out functionalities without the need for an industry standard.”
“We do not consider it necessary to prevent some bettors using technology to gain an advantage, for example, from computer software programs or faster online connectivity speeds, provided it is made clear to all bettors that this is possible,” the commission said.
The gambling regulator also dismissed claims that in-play betting could be exploited for criminal or inappropriate gains, or could be used for match fixing or cheating.
“There is limited evidence to show that the risks are greater than those associated with pre-event betting,” the report read, adding that lowered limits on in-play markets have also reduced the incentive for cheating.
In-play wagering makes up more than 60% of betting volume at major sportsbooks in the United Kingdom, according to eGaming Review.
“We are aware that some countries have taken a more prohibitive approach towards in-play betting, for example, by restricting the markets that are available or the means by which in-play bets can be placed,” the commission said. “However, in exercising our functions under the Gambling Act 2005 we are obliged to permit gambling in so far as it is conducted in a manner that is consistent with the licensing objectives.”
Australia is among the countries that have outlawed in-play betting apps. In August, the Northern Territory Racing Commission issued its licensees an ultimatum to close down any online in-play offerings or risk the wrath of the federal government.