SportsBroker, a virtual stock market for sports shares that “rise and fall based on team performance” continues to be operational in the UK, despite lacking a license, EGR reports. According to regulators, the company’s offerings do not constitute gambling.
SportsBroker Is Yet to Receive a License
SportsBroker is a company that introduces a novel form of entertainment. Despite comparisons with the notorious Football Index, SportsBroker claims that its model has some major differences.
SportsBroker is a peer-to-peer gaming platform, this means you are trying to win money from players who have backed the opposite team – we only take a small commission if your team goes up in value.
Some people are concerned about SportsBroker as it continues to operate without a license. The virtual stock market has been operational since 2018 but British bettors are wary because of Football Index’s downfall. Matt Zarb-Cousin, the founder of Clean Up Gambling, addressed the situation. According to him, SportsBroker is a gambling platform. Therefore, it should be regulated by either the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission or the Financial Conduct Authority.
Zarb-Cousin argues that if SportsBroker lacks a license, it should not advertise its products to British customers.
The UKGC Claims the Site Does Not Offer Gambling
It is not like SportsBroker tries to surreptitiously work behind the scenes. On the contrary, the virtual stock market tried its best to receive a license. Unfortunately, because of its specific format, the company failed to meet the criteria of the Gambling Commission. EGR spoke with the UKGC, which confirmed that according to Section 3 of the Gambling Act 2005, SportsBroker’s offerings do not constitute gambling and should not be regulated as such.
SportsBroker also applied for a license from the Financial Conduct Authority. However, it was once again told that it does not meet the regulator’s criteria. This was truly unfortunate to the operator as it seems to genuinely wish to become a licensed operator.
SportsBroker’s UK site warns its customers that it lacks a license and is not a gambling product but a “real-time game with virtual shares.” Furthermore, SportsBroker’s website follows all safer gambling practices, EGR’s report claims. According to the news outlet, the virtual stock market checks all of its customers if they are adults and performs KYC and AML checks. In addition, the website monitors its customers and has systems that prevent gambling harm and money laundering.
To top it off, SportsBroker’s site reminds users that it is a real-money game and prompts them to contact Gamble Aware if their spending behavior spirals out of control.
SportsBroker’s case is interesting and sparks a debate about how Britain should regulate innovative real-money websites.