On Day 2 of Betting on Sports Europe – Digital a panel gathered to discuss the link between sports betting integrity and problem gambling. 

What is it?

Historically sports betting integrity and problem gambling have been seen as separate issues with different processes of education, treatment and regulation. Innovative harm minimisation programmes across Europe and the world are demonstrating a link between the two so should they be treated as combined threats to sport in the future?

Who is it?

Mark Potter, Head of Safer Gambling US at EPIC Risk Management  

Scott Davies, EPIC’s Lead Pro-sport Facilitator

Michelle Evans, Head of Communications and Wellbeing, PFA Scotland

Lee Calverly, Sports Integrity Lead, GVC Holdings

Epic Risk Management is the world’s leading independent gambling harm minimisation consultancy with experts providing education, awareness training & advisory in the UK, USA and globally.

PFA Scotland is The Trade Union for all professional footballers in Scotland, promoting the collective and individual interests of players playing at every level of the game. It has partnered with the RCA Trust to develop a gambling awareness programme for players in Scotland. 

Listed as one of the key focus areas for GVC Holdings’s Global Foundation, the company invests into responsible gambling, sports integrity and gambling regulation research, education and treatment. 

What is being said?

Michelle Evans: “The lived experience and the awareness of actually seeing a sports person and someone that has walked in those same shoes in front of you is fundamental. I can’t stress enough how important I personally think that is in trying to make athletes aware of what they can and can’t do.

“Seeing someone give a talk, and discuss their lived experiences, can trigger something in these players and make them think about their own activities – which could possibly resonate with them on a personal level. Having more people come forward and tell their story is the only way that we can try and raise awareness among players. We must continue to educate them.” 

What are the conclusions?

  • Education and teaching through lived experiences of a fellow sports person is key to preventing players’ temptation to match-fix and problem gamble.
  • Integrity breaches can impact the punters’ overall confidence in a betting product, undermining the ability to provide ‘fair and transparent’ markets.
  • Sports rely on fans and commercial sponsorships – if there’s an issue with integrity, that’s going to impact the sport’s revenues.
  • More research needs to be conducted on whether a participant that has a problem gambling issue is more likely to take part in match-fixing and spot-fixing.

Why should I watch it?

To gain an insight into how some organisations are working to prevent problem gambling behaviour in sports.

Where can I see more?

Source: SBC Youtube Channel

Betting on Sports Europe: A link between sports betting integrity & problem gambling