UK Gambling Commission complaint statistics regarding the impact of Internet betting on the integrity of sports suggest that claims by national sports leagues in some countries that online gambling increases the risk of corruption are unfounded.
The Commission received around fifty complaints in which suspicions of dishonest betting or general concerns about the influence of online betting on sports were voiced over the last year-and-a-half. However, more than 50 percent were found to be unsubstantiated on investigation, and a mere handful were assessed as sufficiently credible to warrant continued inquiry. In an even more interesting development, the commission found that the number of suspicious results was equal or less to those made before the advent of legal online sportsbetting!
The ability of major online betting groups with sophisticated statistical tracking and recording software, such as Betfair.com, to identify and flag suspicious betting patterns, is being increasingly recognised by sports associations and governing bodies, with several betting scams in major sports already uncovered due entirely to reports from the betting companies themselves.
Gambling Commission chairman Brian Pomeroy sums up the Commission's initial findings thus: "While limited evidence has so far emerged to support the widespread concern about the risks to betting integrity, combating those risks by working effectively with our partners is a key priority for the Gambling Commission. Our integrity team is already working with CCPR, sports governing bodies and betting operators to develop enhanced joint working as we strive to maintain the integrity of betting in Great Britain."
This week, the respected American newspaper USA Today published an article at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/2009-04-01-marketing-cover_N.htm questioning the growing dependence on advertising and personality publicity profiles among college sports bodies that have traditionally opposed online gambling on the grounds that it increases the potential for corruption in sport. It makes interesting reading....
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