Posted 3/17/11 : European Tour introduces new anti-corruption policy
The golfing industry has reacted against corruption in the sport through a new European Tour policy that forbids a player or a caddie to place a bet on any golf tournament in which they are participating.
"It's a completely new regulation for us," David Garland, director of tour operations, told Associated Press this week. "We just feel that looking at other sports, and instances of gambling scandals in other sports over here, we didn't have a policy. It's been a little topical at the moment."
Garland said golf is the fourth-most popular betting sport in the United Kingdom. During some of the major championships, there can be bets on who will have the lowest score among a particular group, or even as simple as who will place in the top 10.
"What we've seen in other sports is that it's the individual who's not at the top of the game that gets involved," Garland said. "It starts with information. Then it goes to, ‘Can you do this for me and do that for me?' In the world of illegal gambling, these are high numbers people are talking about, and it may become tempting.
"We want to get this over to players, caddies and everyone connected on the tour about the dangers involved."
The first section of the policy is that no player or caddie can either directly or indirectly bet or be involved in a bet in a competition they are playing or have any influence. Another section forbids players or caddies to provide information in which either has inside information.
Thomas Bjorn, chairman of the tournament committee, explained: "I don't think the $20 bet is a problem. We've had big scandals in cricket, there's stuff going on in snooker. You have to protect yourself against the inside stuff."