In light of the difficulties on-course bookmakers face as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that it will examine the fines imposed at last year’s Royal Ascot to seven bookmakers.
Allegedly the seven bookmakers had allowed a 16-year-old to position a £ 5 bet at the Royal Ascot festival. Originally, the UKGC required bookmakers to pay a fine amounting to 2.5 percent of gross gambling yield, the amount a bookmaker kept after paying winnings but before deducting any expenses.
The UKGC has announced that it will send letters or warnings to the bookmakers with ‘advice to act’ due to the cancellation of the UK racing calendar from 17 March.
A spokesperson for the Gambling Commission posted on the Racing Post said: “Protecting children and young people from gambling harm is a priority for the commission.
“Due to the impact of the exceptional commercial challenges and current uncertainty for on-course bookmakers, we have taken the decision to review the initial sanctions placed on these seven operators.
“We will continue to monitor their standards very closely. If future failings are identified we will not hesitate to take action.”
Chris Hudson, chairman of the British Racecourse Bookmakers Association, clarified that he was delighted with the news and that they would contact the UKGC to find out if on-course bookies could work more closely with the regulator.
He said: “We will again attempt to reach out to the Gambling Commission officers responsible to better understand how we can work more closely together, as protecting the young and vulnerable is a key objective of the Gambling Act and is supported by all racecourse bookmakers.”