Sports bodies to investigate gambling markets

With various sports having been overshadowed recently by allegations of match-fixing and corruption, a number of sports bodies in the UK have teamed up to commission a study that will investigate the threat that some betting markets may pose to the integrity of their sport.

Sports bodies from football, cricket, tennis, rugby union and rugby league, along with the Central Council for Physical Recreation, will receive the findings from researchers at the University of Salford’s centre for the study of gambling.

Spread betting is one area which will scrutinised the most, with unusual betting opportunities available in most sports; and therefore an increased chance of corruption. Such bets include the time of the first throw-in in football and the number of time a wicket-keeper may take the bails off the stumps during an innings in cricket.

It is widely thought that the Gambling Commission may well ban these types of bets in the future.

With allegations of corruption tarnishing the sports, the powers that be are worried that sponsorship and commercial revenues will suffer as a result.

Gerry Sutcliffe, sports minister, has implored bookmakers and sports to work together in an effort to eradicate the problem.

"Preventative action must be taken to protect sport," said Sutcliffe.

"That is why I urge the betting industry to work together with the sports bodies on planned research to identify the integrity risks associated with different sports so that the betting cheats can be tackled head on."

Editor, - 2007-11-08 11:04:57

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