Parry wants sports gambling unit

01 February 2010 12:33
Former Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has recommended a new unit be set up to investigate corruption in betting across all sports.Parry also called for tougher sanctions on cheats in a report commissioned by sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

The proposed team - called the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit - would be housed within the Gambling Commission.

"The report must be taken seriously by sports, police and the gambling industry," said Sutcliffe.

Last year, 48 suspicious betting cases were referred to the Gambling Commission in the 18 months to 31 March, while a high-profile case involving a match between Accrington Stanley and Bury led to five professional footballers being banned for up to a year and fined.

"We have to take the toughest possible approach if we want to stamp out cheating" Rick Parry The five players - Jay Harris, David Mannix, Robert Williams and Peter Cavanagh - who were on Accrington's books and Andrew Mangan - then a Bury player - were all charged with betting on a victory for Bury in the game, which was Accrington's last of the 2007-2008 season.

"The report that I've delivered to the minister presents a clear way forward in tackling the growing threat of corruption to the integrity of sport," said Parry.

"We have to take the toughest possible approach if we want to stamp out cheating - and that's why it's so vitally important that the recommendations are taken on board and followed through.

"This should be a no-compromise approach - the panel has identified a number of areas that need work and we now need the full sign-up of the Government, the gambling industry, sports governing bodies, the police and the Gambling Commission to put them into practice."

Parry's other proposals included, a comprehensive education programme for competitors, a new code of conduct on sports betting integrity for all sports governing bodies, and for every sport to have a system for capturing intelligence and reporting to the new unit.

Sutcliffe said he would now consider the recommendations before announcing the next steps.

"I am very keen to keep up the momentum on this vitally important work," he added.

Parry outlines corruption panel advice

"There is no place in sport for cheating of any kind and we must make sure we're doing all we can to protect its integrity.

"We must all work together towards one common goal - an effective, watertight intelligence-led system that means cheats have nowhere to hide."

Parry who believes the unit could be set up almost immediately, added in a interview to BBC Sport: "The integrity of sport is at stake here and there can never any room for complacency with this issue as the public has to believe that sport is clean.

"The threat is always there and there is always a need for vigilance. We have to be aware that the temptation and opportunity is also always there.

"I think the threat and the impact of it is potentially as great as doping so there is absolutely a need for everyone to be on their toes and vigilant."

Source: BBC_Sport