Is Your Tipster Operating Within The Law?
If you enjoy betting on the weekend’s sporting action or perhaps the daily horse racing, you might well also habitually check out the articles of the tipsters with columns on the top platforms and publications. Tipsters give us that valued whisper in the ear – expert advice which we can implement or ignore, and a valued second opinion on the races, matches and tournaments on the sporting calendar.
Like most parties in a regulated industry, tipsters are subject to guidelines from the relevant bodies who are there to ensure sports betting and, in particular, the way tips are presented and promoted, are fair to punters. Two bodies to look out for if you are a punter in the UK are the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Who Are The ASA and CAP?
The ASA is the independent regulator of advertising in the UK, ensuring that ads produced adhere to the rules in the Advertising Codes. Meanwhile, the ASA’s sister organisation, the CAP, concerns itself with the writing of the Advertising Codes. In the context of tipsters, the most relevant guidance was recent advice issued by the CAP Executive, on non-broadcast advertising.
While a large share of tipsters like to show off their previous wins to prove their credentials to readers, your tipster should not claim that winnings over a certain time period are indicative of typical winnings. For example, a promotional line such as “over £5000* profit in the last month” has historically been ruled against. This is because the figure might not be representative of their winnings over a longer period. Tipsters on Betting Gods state their profits as a monthly average, so as to ensure they are representative.
Your tipster should never claim that they can guarantee success – no matter how good they are! Saying that tips are certain or very likely to be successful could mean your tipster is operating outside the guidelines, as is describing following their tips as a ‘serious investment opportunity’, or similar. After all, the winner of no sporting event should be a certainty, and that’s what makes them so exciting.
Tipsters love to list the big wins they have notched up, so it isn’t uncommon if your tipster is shouting from the rooftops about their former glories. Those recommendations should have been registered with an independent body, however, in order to prove their authenticity. They must then be able to provide proof of this information to punters – even if they have registered, proof is still needed. The independent body itself could be a sports betting publication, site, or even an accountants or solicitors.
If your tipster offers a tip for which the odds immediately nosedive very soon afterwards, that’s not quite as helpful, is it? That’s why a section in the CAP Executive guidance specifies that odds should be available for a “significant” amount of time after a tip has been issued, in order for the tipster to claim the tip as a win. If punters do not have a reasonable chance to place a bet with the odds a tipster had originally advertised, it should not qualify as a win.
For example the Betting Gods golf tipster includes testimonials from sites which include the odds at which they won after following a tip, offering another level of transparency.
There is an element of chance and risk to sports betting, and for this reason, CAP Executive guidance warns tipsters away from promising financial gains or products which offer personal financial solutions. Your tipster should never promote their services by linking the offering to wider economic issues such as a recession or downturn.
Anyway, there’s our quick checklist for checking your tipster is playing fair – if you discover your tipster is ignoring any of these guidelines, it might be time to look elsewhere for your sports betting advice.