New sports betting report highlights regulated industry role in upholding integrity

New sports betting report highlights regulated industry role in upholding integrity

Monday, September 15, 2014 Totally Gaming

A new report published by four of the betting sector’s leading organisations has highlighted the positive role of the regulated industry in protecting the integrity of sport.

The report has been published by the Association of British Bookmakers, the European Gaming & Betting Association, ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) and the Remote Gambling Association ahead of a meeting on Thursday in Magglingen, Switzerland, where more than 50 government ministers will sign a Council of Europe convention on the manipulation of sport.

The author of the report, Jason Foley-Train, told TotallyGaming.com that the study will provide a valuable addition to the integrity debate.

“This is an evidence-based report whereas a lot of other reports have been based on conjecture, hearsay and speculation,” said Foley-Train, who has updated his 2010 report that was produced while he was on secondment from the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

“An important aspect, which is included in this report, is that this issue is primarily driven by criminals and the unregulated betting sector. The regulated betting industry has been saying that for a decade.”

The report found that sports betting rights are not an effective mechanism for financial distribution to sport and do not improve integrity, while the commercial association between betting and sport has continued to flourish.

The report also found that the notion that new markets – such as in-play betting, offered by regulated operators – should be restricted on the grounds of sporting integrity, is not a policy derived from “any firm evidence base”.

“Unfortunately the sports betting integrity debate is too often driven by either the ill informed or those looking to gain a commercial advantage,” Remote Gambling Association chief executive Clive Hawkswood said.

“I very much hope that this report will go a long way towards educating opinion formers of the facts of the situation, strengthening their knowledge base and ultimately providing a foundation for progress.”

ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali added: “The report corroborates much of what the regulated betting sector has been advancing for over a decade; attacks on the integrity of sport are principally directed by organised criminal groups seeking to exploit the vulnerabilities of sports’ own participants often from poor governance.

“Regulated betting operates are actually the potential victims of such fraud, immediately questioning the rationale behind the ‘sports right’ approach, which has been widely criticised in a recent report for the European Commission as being inefficient and having numerous practical and operational flaws, along with a number of legal obstacles within the EU.”

To read the report, 'Sports Betting: Commercial and Integrity Issues', please open the attachment below.

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