Sportsbet: Remote staff blamed for market error

Betting company Sportsbet has market shut down by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Australia.- Betting company Sportsbet has blamed remote-working staff for the release of a betting market in Australia.

The market was shut down after intervention from the country’s corporate watchdog, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

ASIC revealed today (April 16th) that it was forced to shut down the market, allowing punters to bet on whether ASX would close higher or lower than its opening price.

In a statement blaming remote workers for the oversight, Sportsbet said: “While these markets had received separately regulatory approval for betting purposes, we respect the position of the ASIC and immediately withdrew the markets, and will not be offering them in the future.”

An ASIC statement said: “Sportsbet identified to ASIC challenges in implementing its control framework in the current environment, with many staff working remotely.

“Firms need to ensure continued compliance with their regulatory obligations in the Covid-19 context, assessing the effectiveness of their business continuity plans and alternative working arrangements so as to comply with all regulatory requirements.

“It is important to maintain robust monitoring and supervision controls to ensure financial services are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly. 

“ASIC is actively monitoring firms and markets for potential misconduct and will not hesitate to take action in appropriate circumstances.”

With much of global sport cancelled or postponed, punters of Sportsbet can still bet on a limited number of markets, such as whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison will wear a blue tie at his next press conference and what the weather will look like in future days.