Betting integrity sector makes first strike in US sport

Betting integrity sector makes first strike in US sport

Thursday, November 12, 2015 Totally Gaming
The MLB has signed a deal with SportIM

Major League Baseball (MLB) has become the first major North American sports league to sign a deal with a sports betting integrity provider.

Sport Integrity Monitor (SportIM), which opened an office in Washington DC earlier this year, will provide its services to the baseball league from 2016, providing its technology systems to monitor sports and wagering-related data and statistics. 

Under the agreement, SportIM will work with the MLB on a variety of initiatives to “ensure the integrity of official league events remains beyond reproach”, with a recent American Gaming Association (AGA) report suggesting that 98 per cent of betting in the US is illegal and therefore unregulated.

The MLB said that the integrity partnership will serve as an extension of the its anti-corruption policy and will complement various wide-ranging initiatives already in place.

“MLB is pleased to work with SportIM in this vital area, as this partnership will be an essential part of our initiatives to protect the game's integrity,” said Dan Halem, MLB chief legal officer. “We look forward to making use of SportIM's expertise and market-leading monitoring solutions in order to ensure that we have accurate and timely intelligence.”

The likes of SportIM, Sportradar and ESSA play a major role in advising sports federations as to suspicious betting patterns, with organisations such as football’s Fifa and Uefa and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) having signed memoranda of understanding with such operators over the years. 

News agency Bloomberg reported that the MLB first started discussing the idea of employing a betting monitor after former Assistant US Attorney Bryan Seeley joined the league to head its investigations department.

Mark Locke, chief executive of SportIM, said: “We are proud to be able to begin the expansion of our business in North America and look forward to a long relationship with MLB. It is reassuring to know that forward-thinking organisations such as MLB are actively taking steps on how to best safeguard their competitions and implement effective measures in this environment to prevent any issues.”

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