There are countless people out there that either own their own company or else operate as part of a broader network within a company. These people might enjoy placing a wager every now and then, meaning that they could get tempted to do so on behalf of the company that they work for or else with funds from the company.
In the literal sense of placing bets on sporting events and the like, this cannot be done as a company and those that engage in such a practice tend to face heavy fines as well as possible prison sentences.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any options open for companies to place bets, however. There are numerous things that people that own or work within companies can look to do, up to and including the possibility of looking to get involved with the likes of sports hedge funds, which look to make money from sporting events in a way that is different from placing bets with bookmakers and the likes and yet still involves a degree of risk and is considered to be akin to gambling for those that are involved with it.
You Can’t Bet As A Company
Whether you own a limited company of your own or you are in a position within a wider company that would put you in a position where you could place bets with the company finances. The reality is that this is not something that is allowed under the rules and regulations of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.
Any betting site of gambling company that wishes to offer its wares to punters in the UK needs to obtain a licence from the UKGC, with the condition being that it will work in line with the rules set out to it.
This means that online casinos, bookmakers and other gambling companies, as well as those that operate in person, will work to ensure that the people that are placing bets with them are doing so with their own money.
The Know Your Customer system is in place for the express purpose of trying to avoid scenarios in which people can engage in the practice of money laundering. As a result, betting sites and businesses need to know where it is that the money that you’re betting with comes from, which restricts it from being legal for businesses to place bets.
When you place a bet, you are effectively signing a contract with the company that is taking your bet. You agree to their terms and conditions, with the contract at play being a personal one. That is to say, it is a contract between them as a company and you as a person, so you would be unable to place a bet as a company in these circumstances.
Whilst that might seem confusing, the good news is that you don’t need to think about it too much. Though it is always worth reading a betting site’s terms and conditions, they’re in place whether you like it or not.
Companies are unable to sign personal contracts, which will likely seem clear to most people. You can read the terms and conditions of the contract involved in a bet as long as you’re placing your wager with a company that is licensed by the UKGC.
This is because part of the licensing agreement between betting companies and the Gambling Commission involves said contract being available for punters to read at any point. Bets are commercial agreements between two parties, so companies don’t have that same ability to agree to something.
Through the same logic you can’t give someone else money to place a bet for you or take money from someone else (that isn’t a gift) to place a bet. You can’t let other people access your account, you can’t sell or transfer a betting account.
What Happens When Companies Place Bets
Just because you can’t place a bet as a company doesn’t mean that people haven’t either done so in the past or else used money from a company that they work for in order to place a wager.
When that happens, it is not good news for any of the parties involved if the UKGC finds out that is has happened. The anti-money laundering laws are strict, with Know Your Customer being an important part of them. If the Gambling Commission feels that a betting site has failed in their duties, it is common for them to issue large fines.
When people have used funds from a business that they’re involved in in order to place a bet, the company that they placed the bet with will have to pay a fine, whilst the person that did the betting faces the very real possibility of going to prison.
It is against the law to use money that isn’t yours in order to engage in any activity and betting is included in that. In other words, if you were discovered to have taken money from the coffers of a company that you work for and placed a bet with that money, you can be in serious legal trouble.
Are There Any Other Options?
The obvious question that you might want an answer to is whether there are any options open to companies or workers within companies to place bets legally. The short answer is no, if you are talking specifically about placing wagers on sporting events or other such markets that are open to you.
Unless you are using your own money, such as the wages paid to you by the company that you work for, the likelihood is that you’ll be breaking the law if you were to use money from company accounts for the purposes of betting.
There is, however, such a thing as sports hedge funds. Hedge funds are alternative investment opportunities that pool resources in order to try to gain a return for customers. Sports betting hedge funds, as you might have guessed, place bets with the money available to them, following the same principles that are in place for the likes of mutual funds, with the difference being that they bet on sports instead of using more traditional financial instruments.
This is a legal way of a company placing bets, though not very well regulated. It is ultimately seen as an investment rather than gambling and this is why it is allowed. Companies are allowed to invest on financial and other markets but they can’t place bets directly.