Issuing a short industry update, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has forced bookmakers Paddy Power and Betfred to terminate their newly launched retail betting products.
On Monday, The Guardian newspaper accused Paddy Power and Betfred of trying to circumvent the government’s enforced FOBTs £2 reduction, launching new ‘roulette-style’ games ‘Pick-n-36’ and ‘Virtual Cycling’.
The Guardian reports that the Pick-n-36 game launched by Paddy Power featured a £100 max-bet, whilst Betfred’s Virtual Cycling product offered customers the chance to wager up to £500 per stake.
Both Paddy Power and Betfred have confirmed that the games have been withdrawn from their betting shop networks.
In its update, the UKGC states that it is investigating the matter and that both bookmakers could ‘still face regulatory action’, with governing body investigating ‘key senior staff at bookmakers who are responsible for bringing those products to market’.
In its statement, the Commission has warned a third bookmaker (reported to be William Hill), to terminate its launch of an upcoming retail product.
Richard Watson, UKGC Executive Director for Enforcement, said: “We have been absolutely clear with operators about our expectations to act responsibly following the stake cut implementation this week. We have told operators to take down new products which undermine the changes, and we will investigate any other products that are not within the spirit and intention of the new rules.’’