ASIC makes a sporting decision

Financial planners will be pleased to know that they do not have to take a punt on learning about the use of sporting derivatives.

This follows a decision by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to draw a clear line between the creation of wagering and financial products — something revealed in its latest Overview of Relief Decisions published this week.

The regulator revealed that it had granted relief to the operator of an online sports betting service by declaring that a spread bet over a sports event facilitated through the operator's website would not be a financial product under the Corporations Act.

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However, in doing so, it explained that the circumstances of the operator's arrangement meant that a sports spread bet was capable of being a derivative and, therefore, a financial product — something which prompted the operator to seek a declaration that it was not a financial product.

ASIC delivered on the request because: "(a) the regulation of gaming is the responsibility of the states and territories; (b) the predominant purpose of the sports spread bet was not a financial product purpose; and (c) there was no community expectation that we would be regulating gambling on sporting events".

ASIC explained that the declaration it made applied to a specified list of sports and sport betting markets and was based on the specific terms and conditions provided to it.

"In particular, the declaration applies when the arrangement is regulated under the laws of the state or territory where the bettor is at the time the arrangement is entered into," the explanation said.




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