The betting firm behind last year’s “pie-gate” controversy has been fined and told it risks losing its licence for its role in a publicity stunt that led to Sutton United’s goalkeeper eating a pie during a televised FA Cup tie with Arsenal.
Tabcorp, which owns the Sun Bets brand, was fined £84,000 by the GamblingCommission for offering odds of 8-1 that the substitute goalkeeper Wayne Shaw would finish an entire pie while the game was going on.
Shaw’s successful consumption of the pie during the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Arsenal in February 2017 resulted in him being fined £375 by the Football Association and banned for two months from all footballing activity. He later resigned from the club.
he commission also punished Tabcorp for offering bets on whether a streaker would run on to the pitch, which it warned was a potential inducement to committing a criminal offence.
The commission said Tabcorp could lose its licence to operate in the UK if it is found to be behind similar stunts in future.
During the course of its investigation into pie-gate, the regulator also found Tabcorp allowed more than 100 gamblers who had asked to be barred from placing bets to continue doing so by opening duplicate accounts.
Richard Watson, the commission’s programme director, said: “Vulnerable customers were able to gamble with Tabcorp UK, despite choosing to self-exclude. This is not acceptable. Gambling firms must ensure the systems they have in place are protecting their customers effectively.”
He added: “Novelty betting markets, such as the market Tabcorp UK offered on last year’s FA Cup tie between Sutton United and Arsenal, may seem like a bit of fun but the consequences were serious – with the potential to encourage someone to commit a criminal act or breach a sports governing body’s rules.”
The commission said Tabcorp had accepted it “did not carry out a specific risk assessment on the potential impact of the pie-eating market on the individual who had a pivotal role in determining the outcome of that market”.
It said the company also realised it “should not have placed reliance on the eating of the pie being broadcast live on the BBC as being sufficient to fully manage the potential integrity risks involved”.
Source: The Guardian