Betting over S&P/ASX 200 index highlights failures in controls

ASIC intervened when the betting agency Sportsbet began offering bets over the S&P/ASX 200 Index following concerns that the bets constituted a financial product that Sportsbet was not licensed to offer. The product was consequently withdrawn.

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.

ASIC has observed that control frameworks of some firms that were effective when most staff were office-based may not be effective in a broadly home-based environment. ASIC has published expectations of market participants’ business continuity and supervision arrangements in response to COVID-19.

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