Bill South, William Hill’s Director of Security and ESSA board member, is one of the many speakers at the Betting on Sports conference, which launches today.
South is part of an integrity panel including Phil Suddick of the Tennis Integrity Unit and Alex Inglot from Sportradar, who will be discussing the latest trends in the battle again match fixing.
South explained what he wants delegates to take away from the session: “From ESSA’s perspective, protecting its members from corruption is our number one priority and we have two important tools to achieve that through our engagement and awareness raising with policymakers and our updated alert system. However, for that to be fully effective we need the support and cooperation of other parties such as sports and regulators to impose sanctions and deter this illicit activity. Partnership working is a crucial element of any solution in the area.
“That is why we have put in place information sharing agreements with many major stakeholders. It is also fundamental that we continue to expand the ESSA membership base and by association the alert system’s coverage; we have seen some good growth in that area this year. We’ve also seen important progress in the level of knowledge and understanding of policymakers as a result of our engagement and awareness raising in that area.”
He added: “This whole debate is quite interesting in that a decade ago corruption in sport was about a perceived issue with betting operators apparently causing match-fixing, calls for certain bets to be banned and the introduction of sports rights. Since then we’ve seen those arguments dismissed as unfounded. It is now widely acknowledged that in-play betting does not cause match-fixing, that operators are the victims of corruption and that poor sport governance can be a key facilitator of corruption in sport.
“This has had a major impact on how our sector is perceived and the integrity actions many governments think are necessary. Dangers and challenges still exist however and many of the old myths continue to be promoted. It is important that ESSA gets that message across to the sector and that the association continues to be there to protect responsible regulated betting operators’ businesses, most notably our members, through our engagement and awareness raising activities and the ESSA alert system.
“We assess and set the association’s priorities on that basis and the more input and interaction we have with the sector, the more effective we can be in achieving those goals.”
Check out the Betting on Sports conference – which launches today at the Grange Tower Bridge.