2.2.10 – A review into corruption in sports commissioned by the British government and carried out by a panel under the direction of football star Rick Parry has recommended the inception of a special new Sports Betting Intelligence Unit to investigate corruption in betting on sport, according to The Guardian newspaper.
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.
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.”
Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe said: “I want to thank Rick Parry and the rest of the panel members for submitting a very focused and interesting report. I will now consider the recommendations that have been put to Government and announce next steps in due course. I am very keen to keep up the momentum on this vitally important work. There is no place in sport for cheating of any kind and we must make sure we’re doing all we can to protect its’ integrity.
“But this issue cannot be tackled by Government alone. The report puts a range of recommendations to sports governing bodies, bookmakers, the Police and importantly the Gambling Commission. I hope all of these bodies will take this report seriously and consider in detail what practical steps they are now going to take. We must all work together towards one common goal – an effective, watertight intelligence-led system that means cheats have nowhere to hide.”