UK Sports minister approves panel led by former CEO Liverpool FC

UK Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has approved the members of the new betting integrity panel announced last (June) month in the wake of sports corruption fears.

Led by former Liverpool Football Club CEO Rick Parry, the panel brings together representatives from the betting industry, the police, players, fans, sports governing bodies, the legal profession and the Gambling Commission to address issues threatening the integrity of sport, and consists of:

•Darren Bailey, Director of Football Governance and Regulation at the Football Association

•Simon Barker, Director of the Professional Players Federation and ex-professional footballer

•Dave Boyle, Chief Executive, Supporters Direct

•Nic Coward, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority

•Chris Caisley, Head of Sports Law Group and Partner at Walker Morris

•Mark Davies, Managing Director of Betfair

•Ben Gunn CBE, QPM, sport integrity expert

•Mike O’Kane, Group Trading Director, Ladbrokes

•Ian Seabridge, Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and ACPO lead on Gambling

•Mike Smith, Chairman, Tote

•Bill South, Director of Security, William Hill

•Nick Tofiluk, Director of Regulation, Gambling Commission

One of the panel's first duties will be to consider the current rules on sports betting to ensure they are as robust as possible, ensuring better communications between those involved in tackling sports betting corruption, as well as the education of sportsmen and women on the issue.

The panel will be asked to examine the scale of the current risk to sports’ integrity through betting corruption, including how suspicious betting patterns are identified and assessed, in markets within and outside the UK.

Sutcliffe has asked the panel to report within six months with a clear set of recommendations to help uphold integrity in sports and associated betting.

“We cannot be complacent and need to act now to prevent this [corruption] becoming a real threat to the integrity of sport," said Sutcliffe. "There are some complex issues involved and this is by no means an easy task, but I have great confidence in the panel and I look forward to hearing the recommendations.”

Parry said that integrity and sport must go hand-in-hand and anything that threatens that bond of trust has to be stamped out.

"The panel assembled by Gerry Sutcliffe has a wealth of experience and knowledge and I am confident that we can build on the work already done to ensure we have the toughest possible approach to corruption – protecting and preserving the reputation of sport,” he added.

Gambling Commission Chairman Brian Pomeroy said: “I want to welcome Rick Parry and the other members of the expert panel and look forward to sharing with them the benefit of our expertise on betting integrity in the British market.

"I support this initiative strongly which brings together those whose work keeps British sport free of corruption.

“By acting in concert against the threat to integrity, the betting industry, sports bodies, players and their representatives, police forces, the Gambling Commission and others can achieve much more than any of us alone."

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