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Ladbrokes First Online/Offline Operator to Join ESSA

1st February 2010 10:34 am GMT

As the company celebrates its 2010 award for online casino operator of the year courtesy of the International Gaming Awards, UK bookmaker Ladbrokes has become the first sports betting operator with both an online and offline presence to join the European Sports Security Association (ESSA), the sports integrity watchdog which monitors for irregular betting activity at a number of leading European online sportsbooks.

Through ESSA Ladbrokes will report irregular betting patterns or possible insider betting though ESSA's Early Warning System. The system enables ESSA to work with national sports regulators and their disciplinary and legal departments, ensuring that when an alert is given the regulator is informed immediately to prevent any game manipulation on a given event.

"This is an important step to ensuring ESSA becomes the industry standard organisation that has the support of both online and offline operators," said Khalid Ali, Secretary-General of ESSA. "We welcome Ladbrokes and we are sure they have an important contribution to developing industry-wide standards in this area. We would urge all operators in the industry, online and offline to work with ESSA."

ESSA was established in 2005 by some of the leading online sports book operators in Europe to monitor any unusual betting patterns or possible insider betting from within each sport. Members include several of the largest sports operators in Europe including the likes of bwin, Sportingbet, Expekt.com, BetClic, PartyGaming and Stanleybet.

"The European Sports Security Association is dedicated to improving the sharing of information between betting operators and sports bodies," said Mike O'Kane, Ladbrokes' Trading Director. "Currently the issue is surrounded by rumour and sensationalism, whereas in reality the incidence of betting corruption in sport is minimal. By giving regulators and sporting bodies a full and accurate picture of unusual betting patterns we can assist them in protecting the integrity and reputation of both sport and its participants."

In related news, Ladbrokes was last week awarded the online casino operator of the year award at the 2010 International Gaming Awards in London. Other online winners on the night included Playtech (iGaming Software Supplier), Cashcade (Online Bingo Operator), and PKR (Online Poker Operator), while offline winners included the likes of Mecca Bingo, Holland Casino, Casinos Austria and IGT.

The judging panel for the International Gaming Awards includes various industry practitioners such as Andrew M Love (Executive Chairman of the Ritz Club Casino), Dan Stewart (founder and owner of PokerScout), David Heap (Group Chief Executive of TCSJohnHuxley), Gavin Isaacs, Executive President Bally Technologies Inc), Gerhard Burda (CEO Atronic Group & Senior VP GTECH Gaming Solutions) amongst others.

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