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PFA, PPF and Ladbrokes discuss Sports Betting Integrity

PFA’s Fabrice Muamba meets Ladbrokes’ Alex Donohue to discuss sports betting integrity and find out about Ladbrokes’ Integrity System.

“The regulations are simple,” Donohue explains: “as a current professional sportsman or sportswoman you cannot bet on any sport that you are currently registered in.

“This principle also extends to asking another person to place a bet on your behalf. As a sportsperson you may have access to information that is not known in the public domain, you absolutely cannot use this, or pass the information onto someone else for the purposes of betting.

“So absolutely no inside information, no betting.”

Donohue adds: “These rules extend to anyone who is registered as a professional at a club, so can also include coaches, training staff or background staff.”

Ladbrokes and all other betting companies, use monitoring systems to track every bet and will investigate any activity that looks suspect.

Any bets identified as potentially suspicious, will be examined in more detail with traders working backwards using resources such as CCTV, scanned betting slips, registered account details and IP addresses.

One of the conditions of a betting companies’ license is that they report any unusual or suspicious betting activity to a sport’s governing body.

So more specifically in football, this means that any irregular activity will be reported to The Football Association, who will then assist and provide any further information required.

As well as the reporting processes to governing bodies, when there is a suspected integrity issue, betting companies will also communicate with each other, sharing any information on irregular bets.

The consequences for participants placing bets could be huge, Donohue warns: “There may be a fine and a ban, but it could also be a criminal offence to place these bets as well.

In addition to betting, Muamba also highlights the dangers becoming involved with match-fixing: “As a professional footballer, you can be specifically targeted by match fixers.

“If you are approached, or you suspect that a colleague has been approached or is involved in match-fixing you must report it immediately.”

Remember the three R’s:

  • Recognise - if someone asks you to do something that you feel is wrong or against the rules. 
  • Resist. Just say no.
  • Report. Make sure you tell someone about the situation. You can tell the PFA, someone senior at your club or The FA.

Ultimately a member has to immediately report any approach to the FA to stay the right side of the rules and avoid any potential charge but the key message is to make sure that you don’t keep any approach to yourself and protect yourself and your career by letting someone know, such as the PFA, what has happened.

PFA deputy chief executive, John Bramhall concludes: “Football is a great game and a rewarding career, so we owe it to the sport, the fans and our fellow professionals to ensure that we don’t do anything which harms the game that we love”.

If you have any questions or wish to speak in confidence about any issues relating to betting, inside information or match fixing, please speak to Simon Barker at the PFA: