The Betway sportsbook had a good thing going, offering action on soccer players and their odds of moving from one team to another. However, after two players were recently found to have tried to game the system by providing insider information ahead of transfer announcements, the bookmaker has decided that it no longer wants to support the activity. Going forward, Betway will no longer offer any soccer player transfer action in any of the markets in which it operates.
Betway has decided to exit the market in order to avoid being embroiled in any activity that could be deemed a violation of standing rules, and it wants other bookmakers to follow its lead. The company’s head of corporate communications, Alan Alger, said in the statement announcing the company’s decision, “The FA have strict rules on betting and we feel that offering odds on players to move to specific clubs highlights a grey area which has caused issues in the past. It is best removed as an option. When there are hundreds of prices and markets offered on most games, this is part of the football betting experience that we are happy to see shut down.”
Former Liverpool FC player Daniel Sturridge had expected to be on his way to Spain and Sevilla FC. He was so confident of the move that he whispered in the ears of at least one family member to take the action that would allow them to walk away with huge stacks of money. However, after the deal fell apart (he would end up going to Turkey’s Trabzonspor), the ruse was uncovered. That led to the Football Association (FA) hitting him with a four-month ban and a fine for $94,000, as well as his forced exit from the Turkish squad.
In May, Kieran Trippier was charged by the FA with similar violations after it was revealed that the English player leaked his transfer to Spain’s Atletico Madrid last year. He is expected to respond to the allegations by the end of this month.
The FA has strict rules against sharing insider information, but, even without these, it should be obvious that cheating at any type of wager is a serious breach of ethics. Still, there will always be individuals to whom ethics is a foreign, garbled word, which is why the FA’s rules state that any athlete or person involved in a club’s management will not “either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect in connection with, a football match or competition.”
Alger adds, “First and foremost, we believe that betting on football should be about what happens on the pitch. The FA have strict rules on betting and we feel that offering odds on players to move to specific clubs highlights a grey area which has caused issues in the past. It is best removed as an option.
“When there are hundreds of prices and markets offered on most games, this is part of the football betting experience that we are happy to see shut down.”