Concern over sports integrity is one of the main reasons it took so long for sports gambling to come to the U.S. However, there are integrity issues seen in every aspect of everyday life. This is why regulatory bodies exist to try to reduce potential fraud, scams and thievery. There are methods that can be utilized to cut down on illegal activity, or at least to punish those found to have broken the rules, and anti-match-fixing operations are becoming SOP for sports. Colombia and Malta are doing their part to help control sports integrity with new initiatives that they hope will have a major impact.
Colombia, through the Colombian National Committee for the Prevention of Manipulation of Sports Competitions, is determined to be a leader in sports integrity. It is dedicated much of its efforts through the end of next year to campaign for better integrity measures and to increase transparency in sports. Members of the committee are required to promote awareness and to develop training programs that will help prevent match-fixing, and will also have to launch public awareness campaigns that will educate the general public on the problems associated with the illegal activity.
Gaming operators in the country, and even the government, are leading the way to ensure integrity. Companies like BetCris and Dimayor have been proactive in fighting match-fixing in Colombia, as well as across Latin America, and their efforts are likely to increase going forward. It’s in their best interest, as match-fixing not only derails respect for sports, but can cost companies, and governments, millions in lost revenue.
Last month, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) introduced new regulations that require entities to report suspicious gambling activity. The regulatory body is now turning up the heat and has launched the beta version of a new website that will allow B2C licensed sports gambling operators to report that activity more easily to the country’s newly-created sports integrity monitoring unit.
The platform, following successful beta testing, is expected to be introduced to all licensed operators before the end of January, and should go a long way to diminishing match-fixing in sports. The creation of the Sports Betting Reporting Mechanism (SRBM) follows almost constant development of sports integrity measures in Malta this year, including through collaborative efforts with soccer, cricket and snooker groups. The MGA is actively working to expand its sports integrity solutions and compliance measures, which will go a long way, coupled with efforts led by other entities, to clean up sports.
The MGA’s response wasn’t altogether an active response to sports integrity concerns. The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) had called out the regulator previously for not doing enough, and MGA is working to ensure it meets the IBIA’s requirements. Notably, the IBIA wants Malta’s gaming regulator to focus more attention on “customer disputes relating to suspicious betting,” “operator engagements with global monitoring bodies” and “betting integrity policy engagement with operators.”