Betfair blasts UK Gambling Bill
By paul
The draft UK Gambling bill says that some punters on betting exchanges should be ‘identified, regulated, made subject to the appropriate levy arrangements and their status checked’. In other words, punters who lay bets may find themselves taxed as though they are bookmakers. Obviously, the betting exchanges aren’t happy, and Betfair fired back last Friday with a letter to voice its disapproval. Sporting Options and Betdaq also backed the letter, addressed to John Greenway, chairman of the parliamentary committee reviewing the draft Gambling Bill.

The betting exchanges say they have existing agreements to share information with various sports regulators to identify dodgy punters. Betfair has consistently stated that the attacks on betting exchanges are more about the mainstream betting industry trying to kill off the competition.

The letter states: “Major bookmakers are intent on strangling the exchanges with red tape and ultimately denying punters a betting platform that, for the first time, offers real choice, control and value. The imposition of conditions on exchange punters would discriminate against one section of the betting public and create unnecessary bureaucracy for the operators and the new Gambling Commission.”

The letter signs off by asking for the rules to be applied consistently across all betting: 'Surely the best way to address the integrity risk is to impose these policies on all regulated betting organisations. This could take the form of a new code of practice that would require the operators of all the UK's 8000 licensed betting shops to reach the probity, openness and transparency of exchanges.'

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