Golf teams up with ESSA as a ‘precautionary measure'

Golf teams up with ESSA as a ‘precautionary measure'

Friday, July 8, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
The R&A has signed an information sharing agreement with ESSA

Golf cannot be complacent in the fight against match fixing just because it doesn’t appear to be as vulnerable to corruption as other sports.

That’s the view of Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, organiser of The Open tournament, which has just entered into a formal information sharing arrangement with the regulated betting industry’s integrity body ESSA.

Slumbers said that the agreement is a ‘precautionary measure’ with the aim of detecting and deterring any betting-related corruption.

He commented: “Golf has so far not been confronted by the same issues that many other sports have come up against. We cannot be complacent however, and we want to do all we can to protect The Open and the values for which golf is known throughout the world.

“Our arrangement with ESSA, whose members include many recognised international betting operators with access to detailed market data and a commitment to protecting sport, will allow us to effectively monitor betting on the Championship.”

The Open is golf’s oldest championship with a history stretching back to 1860 and is one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar. It sports a large global television audience that also attracts significant interest from betting customers. This agreement will see ESSA employ its alert and reporting system covering its members’ regulated betting markets, which comprises some of the largest betting operators in the world, to monitor The Open for any suspicious betting patterns. As a result, the Championship will benefit from a heightened level of security from potential corruption.

Mike O’Kane, Chairman of ESSA, stated: “ESSA and its members believe that maintaining the integrity of any sporting event is fundamental to its future and we are committed to doing all we can to help to uphold the core spirit of sport and fair play. Golf is founded on such principles and there are few global sporting events bigger than The Open. ESSA is therefore delighted that The R&A has agreed to work with us to protect this historic international sporting event.”

Totally Gaming Says: “According to ESSA’s own integrity reports, Golf is barely mentioned on the match fixing scale, with tennis and football more cause for concern. But the fact that the R&A is being proactive on the matter is an encouraging sign that it is being taken seriously within the sport. But as the agreement is limited to the one tournament, it seems the golfing authorities still need some persuading.”

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