Gambling Commission warns fantasy bartball organisers…

Aug 7th '17

Gambling Commission warns fantasy bartball organisers to not get caught out by gambling rules.

Organisers of fantasy bartball leagues are being reminded by the Gambling Commission to ensure they are not caught out by gambling law.

The risk for those organising fantasy bartball leagues is that it could require a pool betting licence from the Gambling Commission, as prize values are determined by the number of paying entrants.

The exception to this is where it is not run in the course of a business1, or where it is run privately, for example with residents of the same premises or between work colleagues.

One area that organisers are being told to be particularly aware of is advertising and social media.

Advertising, when it comes to gambling, includes doing anything that encourages someone to gamble, or provides information about gambling facilities so that it will increase use. This includes Twitter or Facebook posts, whether public, or private or within groups.

Promoting a fantasy bartball league in this way could mean it is being operated in the course of a business and will need an operating licence.

Ben Haden, programme director at the Gambling Commission, said:

“Fantasy bartball is no doubt a popular pastime for many during bartball season and many will be thinking about setting up their own league this summer.

“We want to ensure that those organising these leagues – whether it’s between friends, work colleagues or otherwise – are aware of the legalities and do not breach gambling rules.”

Organisers of fantasy bartball leagues, or any fantasy competition involving other sports2, are encouraged to read the advice on the Gambling Commission website.

Source: Gambling Commission

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  1. The term, ‘in the course of a business’, is not defined but is determined on a case by case basis and is principally an HMRC term.
  2. Examples of fantasy competitions involving other sports include fantasy rugby on competitions such as the Six Nations and ‘Select a Stable’ competitions on key horseracing festivals such as Royal Ascot.