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Sports Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU)

Information on the SBIU, what they do, and how their work helps to prevent match-fixing and to keep gambling fair and safe.

Published: 17 May 2021

Last updated: 8 November 2021

This version was printed or saved on: 24 June 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/licensees-and-businesses/guide/sports-betting-intelligence-unit-sbiu

Overview: The SBIU is a unit within the Gambling Commission which deals with reports of betting-related corruption. It works closely with the betting industry, sport governing bodies, and the police to understand potential threats and help protect the integrity of sport and betting.

Evidence shows that corrupt sports betting in Great Britain has so far been limited to what appear to be isolated incidents. However, we recognise that there is no room for complacency.

We want betting customers to have confidence that bets placed with GB licensed gambling businesses are on markets that are fair and free from betting-related corruption.

What does the SBIU do?

The SBIU collect information and develop intelligence about potentially corrupt betting activity involving sport. We receive information from a number of sources including reports from the betting industry about suspicious activity on betting markets, concerns from sport governing bodies or tip-offs from members of the public.

The SBIU is part of the Sports Betting Integrity Forum (SBIF) (opens in a new tab) – a national working group that aims to tackle the risk of match-fixing in the UK and protect the integrity of sports betting.

Given the global nature of match-fixing and sports betting, the SBIU also works closely with international partners such as Europol, Interpol, FIFA, UEFA and the IOC. The SBIU is the ‘intelligence hub’ for the UK’s National Platform and is part of the Council of Europe’s Network of National Platforms (opens in a new tab).

Our focus is on potential criminal activity that has at least one of the following elements:

  • it relates to an event in Great Britain
  • it involves parties (athletes, officials, participants, etc) based within Great Britain
  • it involves betting activity that has taken place with a Gambling Commission licensed business

Where appropriate we will share specific information with other partners, (for example, bookmakers, sport governing bodies, overseas regulators, law enforcement agencies, etc) both nationally and internationally. In some cases, this information is used by these bodies in their investigations, for example a sport governing body investigating a breach of their sports rules or codes.

Match-fixing: what do we do to prevent it?

Match-fixing (or ‘competition manipulation’) involves the deliberate manipulation of the outcome or specific elements of sporting events, typically for sporting or financial motivation.

The Gambling Commission’s Sports Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU) works closely with the betting industry, sport governing bodies and the police to understand potential threats and help protect the integrity of sport and betting.

The SBIU collect information and develop intelligence about potentially corrupt betting activity. Most of the reports we receive are related to sports betting, however we do occasionally receive alerts about novelty betting markets such as TV reality shows.

We gather information from multiple sources, such as:

  • reports from the betting industry about suspicious activity on betting markets
  • concerns from sport governing bodies
  • tip offs via the Commission’s confidential intelligence line.

The SBIU determines the most effective course of action on a case-by-case basis, as per our Betting Integrity Decision-Making Framework. This can lead to:

What powers do the Gambling Commission have?

The Gambling Act 2005

The Commission can investigate and bring prosecutions regarding criminal offences under Section 42 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in a new tab). If convicted, a person could face up to two years in jail plus a fine.

Section 30 and Schedule 6 (Part 3) of the Gambling Act supports the exchange of information between the Commission and sport governing bodies, which further protects the integrity of sport and sports betting.

The Commission can also securely exchange information with the police, which is important as match-fixing can also involve criminal offences such as bribery and fraud, which the Commission does not have statutory powers to investigate.

The LCCP

LCCP condition 15.1.2 includes conditions that urge betting operators to report suspicious betting activity to both the Commission and to sport governing bodies.

Misuse of Inside Information Policy

The Commission’s Misuse of Inside Information Policy PDF explains our approach to dealing with potential incidents of misuse of inside information in betting. It also outlines the role that sport governing bodies and betting operators can play in relation to protecting sport and betting from the misuse of inside information.

SBIU press releases

The following press releases relate to the SBIU and the work that they do.

Useful links

Important documents

You can read and download the following documents to find out more about the strategies and decision-making framework for the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit.

How to contact the SBIU

If you have any concerns regarding match-fixing or the integrity of sports betting, you can contact the SBIU directly at sbiu@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

If you suspect suspicious activity

We want to ensure that customers are confident that they can gamble in an environment that is safe and free of criminal activity. If you suspect suspicious activity, then you can report it to us.