25th July 2017

Over 300 referrals received by Sports Betting Intelligence Unit in 2016/17

The Sports Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU) received over 300 referrals during 2016/17, the annual report of Great Britain’s Gambling Commission (PDF below) revealed. As in previous years, the most referrals related to football and tennis, however the Gambling Commission said that reports from other sports that aren’t traditionally associated with sports betting integrity were increasing. From April to June this year, 41% of events reported to the SBIU related to tennis and 37% related to football.

The SBIU is a unit within the Gambling Commission that deals with betting-related corruption. It receives reports from over 15 sports governing bodies in Great Britain, as well as from 25 other countries. The Gambling Commission’s annual report revealed that the volume of cases the SBIU is dealing with has risen over 80% since 2014, which suggests that sports betting related corruption has spiked in recent years. This ties in with a huge surge in the number of suspicious betting alerts reported to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) in recent years, as revealed in a Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee hearing last year.

The annual report also reveals that Great Britain represents the largest regulated gambling market in the world, with approximately 21 million active accounts. The Gross Gambling Yield – which represents the amount retained by operators after the payment of winnings but before the deduction of costs – totalled £13.8 billion from October 2015 to September 2016.

Also mentioned are statistics taken from the Gambling Commission’s 2016 Participation Report, which was published in February this year. When contacting approximately 4,000 people via telephone, this found that approximately 25 million adults had gambled during the last four weeks, and over three million had bet on a football match during the last four weeks.

Separately, the Gambling Commission has found no integrity issues with the removal of a greyhound from a race at Sittingbourne on 23 April 2015. ‘Enquiries revealed that the greyhound was pulled out of the event at the request of Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (BAGS) – an organisation which provides greyhound media rights to bookmakers’, read a statement. ‘Bookmakers had complained to BAGs that there had been unusual off-course tri-cast combination bets on the race. This caused the race to be reformed with the remaining dogs and new betting markets were set. The Commission investigation found there were no integrity issues with the outcome of the reformed race.

The Gambling Commission also warned organisers of fantasy football leagues that they could require a pool betting licence, if the league is advertised and offers prizes. It said that advice is available on its internet site using this link.

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