Sporting Integrity v the Lure of Money : Can the sports industry win the contest? – Breakfast Seminar

We were delighted with the turn-out and response to our Winter Breakfast Seminar on the topic of Sporting Integrity v Lure of Money. Given the many high profile cases of alleged corruption within Snooker, Football, Cricket and Tennis this year, our panel were well equipped to tackle the pressing issues which were raised.     

        

      

Rick Parry, second from bottom-right, was Chair of the Government-appointed expert panel on a Sports Betting Integrity Panel, which gave him the knowledge and experience to fit perfectly with our topic.  

Said Parry: “One of the key challenges of the last decade has been the explosion in new opportunities to bet driven by technology. With betting in real time and crossing international boundaries, punters can now bet on just about every imaginable event.”

  

  

 

Richard Cramer, head of FrontRow Legal, called on the coalition government to adopt the key recommendations of a report on gambling integrity which was commissioned by former sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe and produced by Parry and a panel of sports betting integrity experts earlier this year.

He commented: “The report’s recommendations included setting up a new code of conduct on sports betting integrity for all government bodies to adhere to, establishing a cross sports betting integrity unit – and implementing a comprehensive education programme.

 

“This report is designed to be a springboard for a multi-agency solution that is ‘fit for purpose’. Rather than just act on a crisis, this Government should adopt what Rick has recommended and play a key role in implementing the findings.”

     

With the recent Pakistani cricket scandal still lingering, the debate also examined the fundamental difference between cheating to win and corrupting to lose. Ian Smith, Legal Director of the Professional Cricketing Association (PCA.), highlighted the enormity of organised crime in India where perpetrators target players, referees or umpires who are gamblers before grooming them in what he called ‘a fishing exercise’.    

With a ban already in place on first class cricketers betting on any cricket game, the experts acknowledged the difficulty of imposing blanket betting bans across other sports.

Given our venue, it was fitting that the panel also featured Anthony Clavane, Sports Historian, journalist and author of Promised Land: The Reinvention of Leeds United which charts the rise and fall of Leeds United Football Club.      

  

  

Alan Smart, who was on duty during the horrific Hillsborough disaster in 1989, said corruption needed to be tackled at a grass roots level – and from an early age,

  

Also up for discussion was the new Anti-Corruption Unit that is being created in snooker and how other governing bodies in Sport intend to combat the problem.     

Check out our recent blog on the allegations of match fixing and corruption that are rocking Football and Tennis.

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