High street bookmakers Paddy Power Betfair and Betfred could face further regulatory action from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) after being forced to remove newly launched products from their betting shops.

This week saw the introduction of the reduced maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTS) from £100 to £2, with UKGC chief executive Neil McArthur writing to bookmakers to warn against any attempts to circumvent the FOBT stake cut.

On the same day that the stake cut was implemented, Paddy Power Betfair and Betfred were found to have launched new roulette-style high stake games, prompting the UKGC to issue its warning and order the products to be pulled from market.

The UKGC said it was concerned that the new products undermine the changes made, and has warned the operators that they could still face further regulatory action as it continues to investigate.

The regulator may also investigate key senior staff at bookmakers who were responsible for bringing the products to market.

A third bookmaker who was poised to launch a new product, named in the British media as William Hill, has also been warned by the regulator not to do so.

“We have been absolutely clear with operators about our expectations to act responsibly following the stake cut implementation this week,” said UKGC executive director for enforcement Richard Watson. “We have told operators to take down new products which undermine the changes, and we will investigate any other products that are not within the spirit and intention of the new rules.”

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