Betting exchanges join forces to lobby UK government
By staff
The UK’s top three betting exchanges are talking about forming an industry body to challenge the UK government on its proposals to tax layers of bets on the exchanges. Betfair, Betdaq and Sporting Options are the exchanges involved. Andrew Silverman, Betfair's director of public affairs, said, “One of the important things to do is to work closely together and form a betting exchanges' trade body. We're actively discussing that.”

The exchanges have previously been reluctant to set up a trade association.

Betdaq's MD Rob Hartnett said in a recent interview with New Media Age, 'We're all very young in this business and have yet to achieve a level of trust among ourselves.'

Last week the exchanges wrote to John Greenway, chair of the parliamentary committee which is reviewing the UK’s draft Gambling Bill. The committees findings called for tighter regulation of betting exchanges, indicating that heavy layers of bets – those who offer odds for other punters against a result - should be identified, regulated and taxed in the same way as professional bookmakers.

The exchanges argued this would be an unreasonable burden, and that it could lead to punters spreading their bets across multiple exchanges and opening accounts in other peoples’ names, which would circumvent attempts to monitor an individual's betting patterns.

'We would then be no more able to protect integrity than the traditional bookmakers, which often don't know the identity of their customers,' they claim.

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