Sports Integrity is Ensured by Online Gambling Sponsorship

A recent article published in the Wall Street Journal makes the point that advertizing of online gambling was enriching the betting industry. Making use of sponsorships for selling of wagering has been going on since gambling became very popular around the world. Sponsors of many of the sporting events used to be mostly tobacco and beer companies but now they are gambling service providers. William Hill is the official partner, for the Australian Open tennis grand slam event, has seen a huge increase with betting turnovers and it has been suggested that the increases as much as 80% over last year. William Hills’ exclusive advertising deal shown across domestic televisions and the digital channels was signed in October of 2015 this is well in advance of the opening of the series.

After allegations of match fixing surfaced in tennis, the Australian Wagering Council come out strongly in defence of the wagering industry. Spokesperson for the organization has stated, that the AWC members were committed to continue to work in collaborating with the sports control bodies and that the officials would be encourage very high standards of probity and integrity across all of the sporting codes.

Critics have pointed out that the gambling companies were benefiting from other sources of funding from the gambling industry, either directly or indirectly. One very lucrative gambling aided arrangement was recently made with the International Tennis Federation, they signed a five-year, $70 million deal, with Swiss-based data company, Sportradar. This deal gave Sportradar exclusive access to the real-time scores and statistics at all the ITF tournaments. Sportradar spokesperson commented that, the ITF puts together approximately 60,000 tennis matches annually all over the world and that there is a big ‘appetite’ for the data from those matches,

In a statement William Hill said that the close partnerships between the regulated and licensed betting operators such as themselves and the sporting bodies was part of the solution to any of the integrity issues, and not part of the problem. He said that they have comprehensive information with sharing agreements to inform sport’s integrity bodies and for the sports promotion of licensed operators being the key to ensuring transparency.

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