The R&A, organisers of The Open, have entered into a formal information sharing arrangement with the regulated betting industry’s integrity body ESSA. The agreement is a precautionary measure with the aim of detecting and deterring any betting-related corruption.
ESSA says that The Open, golf’s oldest championship with history stretching back to 1860, is one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar and has a large global television audience that also attracts significant interest from betting customers. ESSA will employ its alert and reporting system covering its members’ regulated betting markets, which comprises some of the largest betting operators in the world, to monitor The Open for any suspicious betting patterns. As a result, the Championship will benefit from a heightened level of security from potential corruption.
Mike O’Kane, Chairman of ESSA, said: “ESSA and its members believe that maintaining the integrity of any sporting event is fundamental to its future and we are committed to doing all we can to help to uphold the core spirit of sport and fair play. Golf is founded on such principles and there are few global sporting events bigger than The Open. ESSA is therefore delighted that The R&A has agreed to work with us to protect this historic international sporting event”.
ESSA holds positions on match-fixing policy forums at the European Commission, Council of Europe and the IOC. It is also involved in a number of activities aimed at addressing betting related match fixing in sport. These include a player education programme with EU Athletes and an international project, entitled “Keep Crime out of Sport”, led by the Council of Europe and funded by the European Commission. To read ESSA’s press release in full, click here.