Brussels, 11 July 2018: Major UK-based operator Betfred has joined international sports betting integrity association ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity). Betfred is one of the largest UK retail operators and has a sizeable international online business. The move will increase the scope of ESSA’s monitoring and alert platform and will also further strengthen the association’s position as the regulated private sector’s representative body on betting integrity.
Betfred was established in 1967 as Done Bookmakers with a single shop in Salford. Following a number of acquisitions it rebranded to Betfred in 2004. That year also saw it launch a digital platform and offer sports betting and gaming online. Betfred currently operates over 1,650 retail premises throughout the UK. The operator is a major sponsor of sporting events, notably Rugby League’s Super League competition and the World Snooker Championship.
Khalid Ali, ESSA Secretary General, stated: “ESSA is delighted to welcome Betfred into its ranks. The operator is a household name with around 20% of UK retail betting shops which goes alongside a substantial online sports betting presence in the UK and many wider international markets. There is clear value for all stakeholders focused on protecting integrity in bringing Betfred within our international monitoring platform.”
Craig Reid, Group Trading Director at Betfred, said: “Helping maintain the integrity on sporting events for our customers is a core component of our business model and is recognised through the value we place on upholding a high level of social responsibility. Betfred is proud of its commitment to providing an efficient, secure and fair service. ESSA’s global reputation for tackling integrity provides the best platform from which to deliver our goals and we are looking forward to working closely with the association.”
ESSA holds positions on high-level betting policy forums at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the IOC. It is driving a number of important initiatives aimed at addressing match-fixing and hosted an international betting integrity conference at Lords Cricket Ground (see here) at the end of last year, attended by over 150 senior officials from sports bodies, regulators and other key stakeholders. ESSA’s Q2 2018 integrity report will be released shortly, previous reports are here.
ESSA represents many of the world’s biggest regulated sports betting operators, serving over 40 million consumers in the EU alone. Concerned regulated bookmakers created ESSA in 2005 to monitor betting markets and alert sporting bodies and national regulators to suspicious betting patterns. The goal was and is to protect consumers from potential fraud caused by manipulating sporting events. ESSA helps to combat this with evidence-based intelligence it provides to sporting bodies and regulators.
Every year, our members invest over €50m in compliance and internal security systems in order to help combat fraud. They also give back to sport and society by spending €400m on sponsorship around the world – €250m of that in Europe alone. This increases substantially when advertising and photo and video-streaming rights are taken into consideration. ESSA and its members also co-fund an education programme on gambling with EU Athletes that reaches out to 15,000 athletes/players across at least ten different sports in 13 EU countries.
ESSA continues to play a key role as the regulated betting sector’s representative body at national and international match-fixing policy forums and holds positions on working groups at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The organisation is continually reassessing and improving its alert and reporting systems and has established information sharing arrangements with a range of sports bodies and regulatory authorities.
ESSA members include: 888sport, ABB, Bet-at-Home, Betclic, Betdaq, Betfred, Betsson, BetStars, BetVictor, Betway, bet365, bwin, Cashpoint, Expekt, Fonbet, Gamesys, Interwetten, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Bet, Sportingbet, Sporting Index, Sportium, Stanleybet, Stoiximan, Unibet and William Hill. For more information see ESSA’s website or visit us on twitter: @ESSA_Betting