The Sports Betting Integrity Forum, a new government-backed body designed to tackle match-fixing in the UK, met for the first time in London this week to discuss how British sport can further enhance and develop measures to prevent match-fixing and corruption.
The launch event took place Monday at The Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London, with the Forum setting out its role in addressing the risk from match-fixing to the integrity of sport and sports betting, and protecting Britain’s reputation for being a safe place to enjoy both.
It is part of Britain’s Action Plan to address the risks of match-fixing other threats to sports betting integrity, and was comprised of betting operators, sports governing bodies, law enforcement and regulatory authorities, with the inaugural meeting featuring the UK Football Association's director of football governance and regulation Darren Bailey as co-chair.
The roles of the different members were also discussed as the Forum began to formulate plans to address key threats and identify priority actions.
“The establishment of the Forum further demonstrates our long-term commitment to do all we can to protect the integrity of British sport, through working together, sharing best practice and learning from each other and other agencies,” he explained. “We recognise the potential threat to the integrity of sport in this country and are never complacent on this issue.”
Bailey added that the forum would help build on strengthening preventative measures within sports and betting organisations to raise awareness of threats, and coordinating policy at a national and international level.
Members of the forum included gambling operators Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral, Betfair and bet365, as well as industry associations; the Association of British Bookmakers, the Remote Gambling Association and the UK Gambling Commission.
The operators were joined by athletes’ association, the Professional Players Federation, as well as law enforcement authorities, the Association of Chief Police Officers, Police Scotland and the National Crime Agency.
A number of sports governing bodies also participated in the forum, including the Football Association, the British Horse Racing Authority, England and Wales Cricket Board, Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union, alongside the Tennis Integrity Unit, Greyhound Board of Great Britain and World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.
The Sports Betting Integrity Forum was established in 2012 to take forward Britain’s approach to safeguarding sport and sports betting, building on the recommendations from the 2010 Parry Report.
The Forum has already achieved a number of successful outcomes which include providing a platform for the collaboration around effective early warning systems for the Olympics 2012, and developing a case triage process to better manage incidents of sports betting corruption where criminality is suspected.