Sport moves to guard against betting corruption threat
Sport today revealed its latest move to thwart betting corruption by publishing new tools to help governing bodies secure their integrity.
A new sports betting code and a website aimed at sports governing bodies have been created by the Sports Betting Group (SBG). The Group, chaired by Sport and Recreation Alliance chief executive, Tim Lamb, was set up as a result of the Parry Report into betting integrity, commissioned by the last government.
The code and the website provide governing bodies of sport with practical advice on how to prevent corruption, with the code outlining six simple actions to help sports achieve optimal levels of protection.
They include setting rules and regulations; designating a person with specific responsibility for betting integrity; establishing an integrity unit; educating players and staff; putting competition contracts in place; and sharing information with betting operators.
The SBG website also provides a number of resources, including best practice examples, policy documents and access to further information.
Tim Lamb is confident that the new resources will make the life of governing bodies considerably easier.
“This work will help fill a gap in the knowledge and capabilities of some governing bodies and it’s important that we addressed that gap quickly.
“Let’s not overstate the risk – examples of corruption in the UK are few and far between – but there is a genuine threat out there and governing bodies are taking the initiative to ensure they don’t get caught out."
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson MP is also keen that governing bodies take the initiative in relation to sports betting.
“Match fixing and betting corruption pose a great threat to sporting integrity and constant vigilance must be maintained to ensure that sport is protected from this problem. I welcome the leadership the Sports Betting Group is giving to raise awareness of the issue across the sports world. The website and code of practice are valuable tools and I urge all sports bodies to engage with this work.”
At London 2012, betting operators will offer markets on every single event at the Games, while the entire spectacle will also be broadcast live around the world. BOA chief, Lord Moynihan, believes that the code and website will help to deter would-be corrupt gamblers.
“It is excellent to see British Sport uniting behind a common cause to ensure that we are in the best place to safeguard the integrity of sport. The IOC has recognised the significance of the threat to sport’s integrity from irregular betting and has responded by providing guidance and education on betting to athletes and team members ahead of the Olympic Games. This will help ensure that members of Team GB understand the importance of protecting the integrity of sport. It is also vital that the Sports Betting Group continues to champion integrity long after the London Olympic flame has been extinguished.”
The Sports Betting Group was formed in 2010 in the wake of the government-backed report of the Sports Betting Integrity Panel, chaired by former Liverpool FC CEO Rick Parry. The Parry Report suggested that a Sports Betting Group be established to coordinate sport’s response to the threats posed to integrity by betting.
The Group is comprised of leading experts and practitioners from the world of sport, with the Alliance providing the chair and the secretariat to the Group. The SBG has already held a dedicated seminar for NGBs at the DCMS and also carried out an audit of the sector to assess the levels of preparedness of governing bodies.
The Group continues to press on behalf of the sector for improvements to the regulatory framework for sports betting in the UK and will continue to do so over the coming years.
Rick Parry believes the code and website will carry more weight with the sector because they are written by governing bodies.
“I welcome the continued efforts of the Sports Betting Group to implement the recommendations outlined in the report of the Sports Betting Integrity Panel. The Code of Practice and the website are there to provide information and advice to the sector from the sector and will help sports governing bodies to put in place the safeguards that are needed to protect their sports.”
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