The move follows this week’s acceptance by the UK government of all of the recommendations in the Sports Betting Integrity Panel Report, a report commissioned by UK Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe last June following increasing concern over the number of suspicious betting cases being reported to the Gambling Commission.
A key recommendation of the report involves the establishment of a Sports Betting Intelligence Unit at the Gambling Commission to ensure that there is a consistency of approach when reporting suspicious activities to the Gambling Commission.
“Although the evidence, including that in an independent report that we published in January, demonstrates that instances of betting related corruption in sport are very few and far between, we can never be complacent about the risks. It is important therefore that the betting industry in collaboration with the Gambling Commission and the sports themselves take reasonable steps to address the threats that exist,” said Clive Hawkswood, RGA Chief Executive.
Patrick Nixon, Chief Executive of the ABB, added: “We remain committed to the process of establishing an effective intelligence, reporting and investigation process relating to integrity in sports betting issues, and we believe that the Gambling Commission should be able to achieve this through existing resources.
“The Commission already has a professional intelligence infrastructure and analyst and investigation capability that bears comparison with that of any law enforcement or sports regulatory body. We will provide resource and expertise where required. If any new costs do emerge as these recommendations are applied then, provided they are proportionate and can be fully justified, the betting industry will meet those that it incurs in providing its support and we assume that the sports will do likewise.”
Other recommendations in the report include the implementation of a comprehensive education programme on sports betting integrity for sports men and women, run with the help of sports governing bodies and players associations, as well as a new code of conduct on sports betting and the setting up of a Sports Betting Group, made up of individuals from the world of sport that will assess sports’ compliance with the code of conduct
The report also recommends that every sport have a system for capturing intelligence and to report regularly to the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit, while also recommending a review of the definition of ‘cheating’ in the Gambling Act 2005 to see if it needs greater clarity.