Disclosure: GoodLuckMate is reader-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up to a casino via links on our site. Find out more.
UKGC Releases Integrity Sports Betting Report with Esports on the Rise
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has released its sports betting integrity report for April 2021. This is a significant one as is it the first to be released since the integrity reporting requirements were changed earlier this year. The most significant finding was an increase in reports of suspicious activities within esports.
Rise Across All Sports
The April report released by the UK Gambling Commission revealed that a third of the reports came from betting operators. Around a fifth came from other sporting bodies. Furthermore, 15% came from gambling data suppliers. The remaining reports came from elsewhere. This included members of the public and law enforcement.
Football, perhaps unsurprisingly, made up the majority of the integrity reports for sports at 44%. Next up was tennis, which received just over a fifth of the report. Esports then accounted for 20%. This is shocking as in the last report, esports did not make up a significant amount at all.
Many industry insiders and experts are keeping a close eye on the development of esports betting. Some believe that esports could create problems with match-fixing. After all, the sport is still largely unregulated in comparison to others. This is something that UKGC will be looking to address.
The report also noted that various reports had come from over 25 countries outside of the United Kingdom.
Regulation Changes Across the UK Industry
The UK gambling industry is currently undergoing a period of change in regulation. This was the first sports integrity report that was released following changes that had been made at the start of April. These changes stated that all licensed operators need to provide the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit with any integrity-based problems in a new format.
Besides its released report, the UKGC also published its updated Sports and Sports Betting Integrity Action Plan for the year. This was originally released in 2015 and has seen changes made every year.
Easier Access to Resources for Operators & The Public
The new plans will see the UKGC stick to the same standards as they have done in recent years. It will, however, also shine a light on any issues that may be raised as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU. The former, in particular, has seen an increase in problem gambling in the UK. Of course, this is something that the commission is keen to address. The impacts of Brexit on the UK gambling scene are still yet to be fully felt.
The Sports Betting Integrity Forum (SBID) is working closely with the commission to make sure that these goals are achieved. One way that SBIF has done this is by updating its website and making it more accessible and easy to use. The hope is that resources regarding betting integrity will be easier to access. It is also in the process of developing a sports betting integrity training program, which will be used across the British gambling industry.
The gambling industry in the United Kingdom has come under close scrutiny in the past 12 months. Online gambling has increased in the country since the start of the pandemic. Plus, the generational review of gambling policies by the British government has also been underway. Further reports are likely to be released following the end of the European Championships, the majority of which took place in England.