THE CODE OF PRACTICE
The SBG Code of Practice has been developed in collaboration with a range of governing bodies and other specialists drawing on their knowledge and expertise in betting integrity. The Code represents leading industry practice in terms of managing risks associated with sports betting corruption.
The SBG Code of Practice sets out seven key actions sports governing bodies should take to put in place basic measures to protect their sport from betting corruption:
Sports governing bodies must have robust rules and regulations in place that reflect the risks to their sport. The rules must make it clear to participants what is and what is not acceptable in relation to betting and should include provisions regarding the misuse of any inside information that is not publicly available and which has been obtained by virtue of the participant’s position within the sport.
Sports governing bodies should assign responsibility for betting integrity issues to a designated person within their organisation. This person should be responsible for ensuring that basic rules, regulations and sanctions are in place and for investigating potential breaches where necessary. In addition, the designated person should liaise with participants, the Gambling Commission, betting operators, European/International federations, law enforcement and the Sports Betting Group where necessary.
Where the volume of betting on a sport is substantial and/or there exist particular weaknesses – for example bets that are particularly easy to corrupt – it is recommended that governing bodies consider establishing a dedicated integrity unit. However, in many cases establishing an integrity function – or at least having access to relevant integrity expertise – to investigate and prosecute betting integrity breaches should be sufficient.
It is essential that participants are fully aware of the relevant rules, regulations and sanctions in their sport in relation to betting. As a minimum, it is recommended that any standard training programmes for participants include a section on betting integrity. Where a sport is considered at significant risk, it is recommended a dedicated betting integrity education programme is introduced.
Where participants take part in competitions there should be a requirement to sign contracts beforehand that set out clearly their obligations with regard to betting integrity. In most cases, participants will be bound by the rules of their governing body. However, there may be circumstances where this is not the case.
As a general rule, it is good practice for sports governing bodies and competition organisers to make themselves aware of any potential issues in terms of coverage or jurisdiction and, where necessary, to ensure contractual arrangements are in place setting out the betting integrity obligations for participants.
As a minimum the Gambling Commission and betting operators should know who to contact in your organisation should suspicious betting patterns be discovered or other relevant intelligence be received (see Action 2).
In addition, sports governing bodies should consider putting in place information sharing agreements with betting operators which set out the terms under which specified information can be exchanged and the key roles and responsibilities of each party.
In addition to information sharing agreements, governing bodies must also have robust systems and processes in place to be able to handle sensitive data in accordance with relevant data protection law.
It is important to undertake a review of integrity arrangements at regular intervals – it is recommended at least annually – to learn lessons from particular cases or investigations that have arisen within your sport but also to ensure systems and processes reflect the latest good practice from across the sector.
This review may only need to be a straightforward ‘health check’ to confirm that existing arrangements are still fit for purpose but in some cases it may involve a more comprehensive review.
You can download the full SBG Code of Practice here.
“The Code represents leading industry practice in terms of managing risks associated with sports betting corruption.”