The Gambling Commission celebrated its third birthday yesterday. Since its inception on 1 September 2007 to investigate match-fixing in British sport the number of cases it has successfully prosecuted amounts to zero. Not a single one.
It is unlikely that this means the integrity of British sport is unimpeachable. At a time when the London-based Mazhar Majeed has emerged as an alleged fixer of international sports matches and when arrests have been made in the UK over a Uefa-led inquiry into attempts to rig matches in its competitions, the commission’s record is unedifying.
Digger has this week spoken to several anti-corruption experts, none of whom had anything positive to say about the commission’s work in the area. A commission spokesman declined to comment about the current furore involving Pakistan cricketers, since it does not comment on specific cases. He did say the commission has anti-corruption work under way in two separate snooker matches. But its lack of engagement has left sports dissatisfied.
As Rick Parry’s government-sponsored report into sports betting and integrity disclosed in February: “The Gambling Commission has power to investigate cheating offences but it has made it clear that it expects [British] sporting regulators to have the principal responsibility for dealing with sportsmen and women under the various sporting regulations.”
As a result of the Parry report, six months ago the commission introduced a new Sports Betting Intelligence Unit. And how many new investigators have been hired? Not a single one – Guardian