Year in Review: Industry deepens integrity commitment

This year, gaming operators and regulatory bodies have clamped down on suspicious activity and corruption in the betting industry, with measures being introduced to prevent integrity being hindered.

Regulatory bodies such as the Gambling Commission called for operators to pay greater attention to collaboration with sports bodies and the reporting of sports to minimise the risk of match-fixing.

The commission emphasised that operators needed to “step up their customer checks, track play, and intervene to prevent crime, including money-laundering”, but announced in its strategy for 2018-2021 that more needed to be done.

Announced back in October of this year, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) clamped down on match-fixing and betting offences by announcing that they had issued three lifetime bans to a trio of tennis chair umpires.

The three umpires were found to have manipulated scores inputted into the official scoring system for betting purposes and personal financial gain. The lifetime ban was issued with immediate effect, and demonstrated an industry-wide crackdown on corruption within the sporting world.

The ban prohibits each individual from ever officiating at, or attending, any sanctioned events organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport. It demonstrated the severity of the offences and the need for regulatory bodies to knuckle down to prevent corruption in the sports and betting world.

The ban follows an independent Integrity Review Panel (IRP) publishing the findings of a study aimed at researching sport’s match-fixing, corruption and betting-related issues in Tennis back in April of this year.

The review found that 464 of the 3200 professional tennis players surveyed had “first-hand knowledge of match fixing”, and recommended that governing bodies of the ATP, WTA and ITF reevaluated both the tournament frameworks and ranking systems.

IRP’s review emphasised the need for education, and explained that tennis integrity is hindered by the lack of cooperation between the sport’s stakeholders.

The Gambling Commission also stated that there is a need to: “support and facilitate collaboration across operators in the market and other agencies concerned with raising standards in relation to sports betting integrity, and work to foster national and international standards where it is clearly in the interests of British consumers to do so.

Nasdaq-listed industry technology and systems supplier Scientific Games Corporation (SGC) became the first lottery betting supplier to join the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS) programme back in September.

The programme is a lottery industry mutualised monitoring system on sports and both detects and analyses suspicious betting activities that could raise questions about the integrity of sports competitions.

As part of the programme, global lottery stakeholders collaborate in the interest of sustaining the integrity of sports betting as GLMS associate members.

SGC launched its new Managed Trading Services (MTS), with the intention to service the recently open US Sports betting market while operating risk, liability, and player management provisions for US sector incumbents.

Pat McHugh, Senior VP Global Lottery Systems for Scientific Games, said that: “The work of GLMS both in the field of monitoring of betting patterns and in establishing a culture of integrity is outstanding. Scientific Games is fully aligned with this important global effort to safeguard the integrity of sports betting for lotteries.”

The move shows a step towards combating suspicious betting activities for global lottery stakeholders, and allows for the provision of education and prevention tools to help maintain integrity in the future.

Gaming operators across the board have collaborated throughout the year to eradicate corruption across the board, with the primary aim being to protect its customers.

The Gambling Commission announced that: “more needs to be done, and at a faster pace, by operators to improve ways to know their customers, to ensure fair and safe play, and to keep markets free from crime and money laundering.”

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