ESIC and the Gambling Commission have signed an information sharing Memorandum of Understating (MOU) that will see esports being considered alongside football, cricket and other mainstream sports in the detection and prevention of betting malpractice.
The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain. The Sports Betting Intelligence Unit (SBIU) is a unit within the commission that deals with reports of betting integrity-related corruption. ESIC will now work closely with the SBIU to identify potential irregularities within esports gambling.
This latest initiative follows a similar agreement that ESIC secured with the state of Nevada regarding all esports tournaments held in Las Vegas, which is working hard to become the capital of esports within the USA. ESIC will benefit from the intelligence available from both these pre-eminent regulators and they, in turn will benefit from information gathered from ESIC’s members who are not licenced in the UK or Nevada, but see betting activity across esports worldwide.
“This MOU is a significant step for ESIC and the esports community,” commented Ian Smith, ESIC Commissioner. “The Gambling Commission has significant resources and powers that will be invaluable in helping to combat any emergence of organised crime or serious fraud within our rapidly growing sector.
As esports continues to grow successfully, so will the inevitable attempts to profit on the back of that success through illegitimate means. This agreement will help protect all the individuals, teams and companies working so hard to make esports successful for players and fans alike” Smith continued.
ESIC will be issuing guidance notes to members in the coming weeks to explain the implications of the MOU, and how it will improve the integrity of the esports gambling scene within the UK.
Richard Watson, Programme Director at the Gambling Commission adds, “Esports is a developing sector that offers new challenges for the betting industry, with potential for further market growth. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to supporting ESIC in addressing the potential integrity risks, to help maintain public confidence in esports both as entertainment and for those who wish to place bets on British licenced markets.