SBIF Cryptocurrency Webinar
On 24th November 2021 the Sports Betting Integrity Forum (SBIF) (opens in new tab) hosted a webinar entitled ‘An Introduction to Cryptocurrency’, in conjunction with the Blockchain Intelligence Group (opens in new tab). As the title suggests, the webinar provided attendees with an overview on the field of cryptocurrencies. The session explored fundamental questions such as ‘What is cryptocurrency?’, ‘How is cryptocurrency created and distributed?’ and ‘How is cryptocurrency converted into mainstream currencies?’.
It also discussed various pertinent considerations when cryptocurrencies form part of investigations. The session was attended by nearly 50 delegates from various sectors including sports, betting and law-enforcement.
CoE Presentation - The European Online Networking Session
The SBIU presented at the Council of Europe’s (CoE) European Online Networking Session (opens in new tab) held on 8th October 2021. The virtual workshop, attended by numerous ‘National Platforms’ and key sports stakeholders, aimed to share information on good working practices regarding the implementation of the Macolin Convention (opens in new tab).
The SBIU represents the operational arm of the UK’s National Platform. The session also outlined the importance of collaboration, between betting integrity stakeholders, in the fight against competition manipulation. Several stakeholders shared their experiences of implementing the convention as well good practice examples of effective collaboration mechanisms.
Fourth International Forum for Sporting Integrity (IFSI)
On 9 November SBIU colleagues joined the Fourth International Forum for Sporting Integrity (opens in new tab) webinar organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Council of Europe.
The Forum stressed the importance of good governance as the major mitigating factor for corruption risks in sports organisations and highlighted the necessity of cooperation to exchange information on corruption cases. The full webinar can be viewed on the IOC Media YouTube (opens in new tab) page.
Interpol’s Operation SOGA
The Gambling Commission’s Sports Betting Intelligence Unit works closely with both UK and international stakeholders, including the National Crime Agency and Interpol, to tackle the threat from betting-related corruption. This is one of a range of measures in place to ensure the UK remains a safe place to host major international events.
Given the timing of Op SOGA (opens in new tab) (throughout UEFA Euro 2020) and the fact that the UK was hosting key matches within the competition (including the semi-finals and final), both the Gambling Commission and the National Crime Agency were pleased to be able to support this important international operation, led by Interpol.
Whilst there was no related activity of concern identified within the UK throughout the Euros, collaborating with Interpol on this valuable global initiative was another key element of the UK’s approach to safeguarding sports and sports betting.
A former racing specialist at the Press Association (PA Media) (opens in new tab) has been jailed for 10 months, at Hull Crown Court, for fraud by abuse of position. Jack Bentham was responsible for setting market odds for betting operators and used his role to manipulate market data for his own gain. Bentham, 24, had been working at the Press Association for around a month before he defrauded betting operators by over £15,000.
The offences took place between 13th and 22nd October 2018 and were initially identified by regulated betting operators and reported to the SBIU in the form of suspicious betting patterns. Subsequent Gambling Commission engagement with Humberside Police led to the launch of a criminal investigation and successful prosecution for this offending.
SBIU Report Statistics (July – September)
Reports by sport
Source of reports
Where are these events taking place and who are we engaging with?
- over 25 Non-GB countries
- both national and international sports governing bodies
- both national and international law enforcement agencies.