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NEWS 3 April 2019

Paddy Power Betfair and Betfred respond to Gambling Commission warning

By Nathan Joyes

Paddy Power Betfair and Betfred could face regulatory action over their latest products after the Gambling Commission issued a warning to the operators.

The Commission was concerned new products launched in betting shops undermine the introduction of reduced maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT), which came into force on 1 April.

The Commission is continuing to investigate the products and may yet choose to investigate those who brought the products to market.

However, Paddy Power Betfair and Betfred initially appeared to be responding quite differently to the warning.

Gambling Insider reached out to Paddy Power Betfair for comment.

A spokesperson said: "We offer our retail customers a range of number-based betting products and this game was introduced as part of a short trial in a selection of shops. This trial concluded earlier today and we will now assess the customer response and feedback before deciding whether to launch it more widely."

Paddy Power Betfair stated the products are inherently different to FOBTs as they are lottery games, rather than fixed odds, and bets are made directly over-the-counter, rather than on machines.

The operator later contacted Gambling Insider with an updated statement: "This game was introduced as part of a short trial in a selection of shops. The trial was ceased within 24 hours and this product will not be launched across our estate."

Gambling Insider also spoke to Betfred’s Head of Media, Mark Pearson, who said: “We removed the game on Tuesday morning following a discussion with the Gambling Commission.”

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director for Enforcement, had earlier said: "We have been absolutely clear with operators about our expectations to act responsibly following the stake cut implementation this week.

"We told operators to take down new products which undermine the changes, and we will investigate any other products which undermine the changes; we will investigate any other products not within the spirit and intention of the new rules."

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