Wimbledon betting partnership is a long shot

Wimbledon betting partnership is a long shot

Thursday, January 28, 2016 Totally Gaming
All England Club chairman Philip Brook said a deal is "extremely unlikely"

The Wimbledon tennis Grand Slam event is “extremely unlikely” to follow the Australian Open in introducing a betting partner, according to the tournament’s chairman, who is also the head of the investigatory Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU). 

Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, the All England Club’s Philip Brook suggested that the event would not consider a deal with a gambling company due to tradition and its commercial strategy.

The Australian Open became the first Grand Slam to sign a partnership with a betting operator when it agreed a reported Aus$5m (€3.2m/$3.4m) deal with William Hill ahead of this year’s tournament. The move has proved controversial due to the event coinciding with allegations made in BBC and Buzzfeed news reports that tennis’ authorities have failed to adequately investigate match-fixing claims over the last decade.

“I think a betting partnership is extremely unlikely,” said Brook. “That isn't to comment on anybody else. The thing to remember about Wimbledon is that we are a little bit different in lots of ways.

“Our whole commercial programme from start to finish is very different from how we manage it, present it than any of the other Grand Slams so a betting partner is very unlikely.

“Our business model is so different. What you see is that we have huge emphasis on history, tradition, grass tennis courts - so many points of difference, so the uniqueness that comes with that is what makes the property so valuable.”

Meanwhile, in the wake of the recent allegations, international tennis’ governing bodies have announced that they are instituting an independent review panel “aimed at further safeguarding the integrity of the game”.

According to the governing bodies, the review panel, headed by sports lawyer Adam Lewis, will address making the TIU more transparent without compromising its investigative confidentiality and structural changes to enhance its independence.

"We are determined to do everything we need to do to remove corruption from our sport," said TIU chairman Brook.

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