Former Liverpool Football Club chief executive Rick Parry today recommends that a national cross-sports integrity unit be established to best tackle the threat of betting corruption in sport.
The proposal is one of the key recommendations in a report from Parry, and a panel of sports betting integrity experts, that was commissioned by Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe last June. This was prompted by Sutcliffe’s concern with the number of suspicious betting cases being reported to the Gambling Commission.
The report recommends that the proposed Sports Betting Intelligence Unit must be efficient in its handling of intelligence from sports and betting and have an effective investigation process in place, which where appropriate will lead to disciplinary action under sports’ rules or criminal prosecution.
A Director would be appointed to lead the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit which would be housed within the Gambling Commission, the report also proposed.
The Unit was one of a number of recommendations that the sports betting integrity panel put forward.
Other key proposals include:
- The implementation of a comprehensive education programme on sports betting integrity for competitors, run with the help of sports governing bodies and players associations
- A new code of conduct on sports betting integrity for all sports governing bodies to adhere to
- The setting up of a Sports Betting Group, made up of individuals from the world of sport that will assess sports’ compliance with the code of conduct
- Every sport to have a system for capturing intelligence and report regularly to the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit
- A review of the definition of ‘cheating’ in the Gambling Act 2005 to see if it needs greater clarity
- A review of the Gambling Commission’s investigative powers to ensure they are sufficient to best tackle corruption in sports betting
- A review of the 2 year maximum sanction, under the Gambling Act
Rick Parry said:
“The report that I’ve delivered to the Minister today presents a clear way forward in tackling the growing threat of corruption to the integrity of sport. We have to take the toughest possible approach if we want to stamp out cheating – and that’s why it’s so vitally important that the recommendations are taken on board and followed through. This should be a no compromise approach – the panel has identified a number of areas that need work and we now need the full sign up of the Government, the gambling industry, sports governing bodies, the Police and the Gambling Commission to put them into practice.”
Notes to Editors
1. The sports betting integrity panel’s report is available on the DCMS website: http://www.dcms.gov.uk/reference_library/publications/6607.aspx. The terms of reference for the panel are included in the report at Appendix A.
2. Panel member are listed below. Biographies for each member are available on DCMS press notice 093/09: http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/media_releases/6238.aspx
* Rick Parry, Chief Executive of Liverpool FC (Chair)
* Darren Bailey, Director of Football Governance and Regulation at the Football Association
* Simon Barker, Director of the Professional Players Federation and ex-professional footballer
* Dave Boyle, Chief Executive, Supporters Direct
* Nic Coward, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority
* Chris Caisley, Head of Sports Law Group and Partner at Walker Morris
* Mark Davies, Managing Director of Betfair
* Ben Gunn CBE, QPM, sport integrity expert
* Mike O’Kane, Group Trading Director, Ladbrokes
* Ian Seabridge, Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and ACPO lead on Gambling
* Mike Smith, Chairman, Tote
* Bill South, Director of Security, William Hill
* Nick Tofiluk, Director of Regulation, Gambling Commission
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department