Sportsbet blames remote working for ASX betting launch
Flutter Entertainment’s Australian subsidiary Sportsbet has blamed remote working for the launch of stock market betting, which was quickly removed from its website following the intervention of the country’s financial services regulator.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) stepped in following the launch of betting on the S&P/ASX 200 index of the Australian Securities Exchange on 31 March.
The regulator said the bets constituted a financial product, which Sportsbet was not licensed to offer, and the markets were removed from its offering.
Sportsbet told ASIC that with staff working remotely as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, it had found implementing its compliance control framework more challenging.
As a result of the case, ASIC warned all companies under its jurisdiction to ensure their business continuity plans and alternative working arrangements allowed them to fully comply with their regulatory obligations.
“It is important to maintain robust monitoring and supervision controls to ensure financial services are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly,” the regulator explained.
“ASIC is actively monitoring firms and markets for potential misconduct and will not hesitate to take action in appropriate circumstances.”
It warned that control frameworks that were effective in overseeing an office-based workforce may not be effective in a home-based environment.
ASIC has previously promised to work “constructively and pragmatically” with market intermediaries it regulates, especially as the disruption caused by the pandemic could make it more difficult for these businesses to fulfil their regulatory obligations.
While sporting schedules across the world have been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 crisis, which has resulted in the Australian Football League, A-League and National Rugby League being suspended, racing has continued in the country.
According to Abelson Info’s daily updates on sporting competitions, horse and greyhound racing has continued during the pandemic.