Match-fixing in sport: How big is the threat?
On 26 April 2012 the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport hosted a meeting to examine match-fixing.
On the panel were Darren Bailey of the FA, Matthew Hill of the Gambling Commission and Susannah Gill of Betfair. Each were invited to give their views on the extent of the threat to the integrity of sport posed by corrupt betting practices, and they discussed what further action was required from government, the sport sector and betting industry to deal with the risks.
The work of the Sport Betting Group was highlighted by Darren Bailey as an example of the pro-active approach adopted by the sector. Referring to the Group’s Code of Practice, which has been designed to assist governing bodies of all sizes, Darren argued that the Government should recognise that sport can be trusted to tackle the issue.
Matthew Hill outlined the work that is being done to regulate the domestic market and to prepare for the Olympic Games – at which every discipline will be subject to betting – but conceded that illegal offshore markets posed a significant challenge. Speaking on behalf of the betting industry, Susannah argued that increased transparency and monitoring, effective sharing of information and the ongoing education of athletes presented three long-term solutions which would protect the integrity of sport.
In response to questions from members, the panellists discussed in more detail the challenge of working with nations with less robust regulatory frameworks and offered views on the discrepancy in levels of public funding for anti-doping initiatives compared to betting integrity measures.
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