The UK is not somewhere you associate with corruption and match-fixing. In fact with the recent licensing laws, this is one of the most reputable jurisdictions of all. They went a little further this week, not just to clean things up – but to add a layer of polish on top.
Behind this move was the British Football Association – which oversees football from professional down to grass roots level. They organized the first Sports Betting Integrity Forum, which was held in London this week with representatives of both the betting industry and leaders from a wide range of sports too.
This was a who-is-who of the sporting and gambling worlds. Includes were some of the biggest name UK bookmakers, like Ladbrokes, BetFair, Coral and William Hill. There were also reps from the world of Horse Racing, Tennis, Rugby and Cricket – as well as football (soccer). Betting groups were represented by the Remote Gambling Association and the Association of British Bookmakers and the Gambling Commission. The UK Police were also represented at a very high level too.
The forum is led by the Football Association’s Director of Governance and Regulation – Darren Bailey.
As the first meeting, this even was really about getting all the interested parties together and outlining a mission statement – rather than coming up with any specific policies or actions.
The words ‘long term commitment’ to the integrity of British Sport came up many times. There are promises of a focus on intelligence and preventative measures, along with the coordination of policy at both the national and international level.
I am sure High Tech Gambling readers will welcome this move, which helps to ensure that it is there skills in picking winners – and not corrupt outside forces, which are responsible for their betting results.
I’ll keep you posted as and when any specifics come out of this – or you can keep an eye on the website of the Football Association instead.