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GB Gambling Commission confirmed investigation of potential electoral betting offenses

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UK Gambling Commission has confirmed that it will be investigating possible offences relating to the betting of general elections.

BBC reported that the Commission opened an investigation into the Conservative candidate Laura Saunders for Bristol North West over a wager on the date of the elections, which Prime Minister Rishi sunak had set at 4 July.

The bet may have been placed via an online betting site or a betting store, but it is unknown which company placed the wager.

In response to a comment request from iGB the UKGC confirmed that it is investigating several electoral betting offenses but declined to provide any specific cases.

A spokesperson for the Commission said, “The Gambling Commission regulates gaming in the interest of the consumers and wider public.” The Commission currently investigates the possible offences relating to the date of elections.

The Commission is unable to provide further information at the moment because this investigation is ongoing. “We are not confirming nor denying any individual’s identity involved in this inquiry,” the statement continued.

There are more reports about election betting

This case is similar to other reports that have been made recently about insiders betting on election dates.

Recently, a police officer who was working with the Prime Minister’s Protection Team, and had been betting on general election dates, has been arrested.

The Metropolitan Police Officer was suspended initially before being arrested for misconduct in public service. However, the individual is now on bail pending further investigations.

BBC reported that the Gambling Commission informed Metropolitan Police of its investigation into alleged wagers placed by a Met police constable assigned to the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command.

On 19 May, Conservative MP Craig Williams reportedly placed a PS100 bet (EUR118/$128) on the date of the July elections, even before it was officially announced. This was done via Ladbrokes’ betting app, which was available on the Ladbrokes website.

Ladbrokes identified the wager at that time as being placed by a political exposed person (PEP). Operators must perform enhanced due diligence before allowing any PEP to gamble. The operator may then place certain limitations on the account.

According to reports, the bet paid PS500 with odds of 5/1.

Williams admitted that, following the incident, his wager on the date of the elections had resulted “routine investigations”.

UKGC reiterates guidance on election betting

Although the UKGC did not confirm that it was investigating specific cases in these situations, it issued guidelines on how to use confidential information when gambling.

A spokesperson for iGB said: “If someone uses secret information to get an unfair edge when gambling, it may be considered cheating in violation of Section 42 of Gambling Act. This is a crime.”

The section 42 outlines how a person can be considered to have committed an offense if they cheat or assist another in cheating at gambling.

The punishment for those found guilty can be up to 2 years imprisonment, fines, or both.

The operators are urged to make clear their terms and conditions

UK law firm Wiggin stated in a blog post about Williams’ case that politicians are rarely accused of “cheating” or fixing bets, especially since they can and often do place bets on their political rivals or the performance of members of their own party.

Williams is believed to have committed criminal offenses, whether or not he was dishonest.

Wiggin praised Ladbrokes in his note for taking action against Williams. He added that operators must ensure they have drafted their terms and conditions with enough clarity to be able to cancel any bets if cheating was suspected.

Legal action may depend on the “impact” of the case. It remains to be decided.

In a UKGC position paper from August 2018, it was clarified that “inside information” is any information which an individual (or individuals) has access to as the result of their involvement in an event, and is not public.

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