Sports Betting Integrity Monitoring Group Formed, Launches in 90 Days

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Last week a not-for-profit organization was formed to act as a watchdog on sporting events and sports betting to prevent unethical, fraudulent and other illegal activities.

The not-for-profit Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA) is bringing together leading gaming stakeholders, including casinos, casino brands, sportsbooks and tribal regulatory commissions, as part of its consumer protection efforts.

Founding members of the organization include Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, William Hill, DraftKings, FanDuel Group (part of Paddy Power Betfair), 888 Holdings, Bet365, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock International, Resorts Casino Hotel and Tropicana Atlantic City.

The groups goals include:

  • Providing a secure wagering environment for consumers in legal betting markets in the United States
  • Protecting the integrity of sports betting by detecting bad actors and discouraging activities that profit from unfair betting markets.

“With sports betting being legalized in more and more states, SWIMA’s principal goal is to protect consumers, operators and other stakeholders from potential fraud caused by the unfair manipulation of events on which betting is offered,” a news release stated. “Reaching this goal requires a multi-jurisdictional approach with operators in different states and tribal jurisdictions sharing information related to unusual or suspicious activity in their sports betting operations within and between different markets and, when appropriate, with gaming regulators and law enforcement.”

Implementation of legal sports betting has been picking up pace across the United States since May when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the sports wagering ban.

Beyond Nevada, other states offering full-scale legal sports betting since May are Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Arizona and New York are on deck with nearly 20 other states having betting bills introduced and under consideration for passage.

“Today’s announcement comes at a critical time as dozens of states and sovereign tribal nations are poised to pursue legal sports betting in 2019. Moving forward, SWIMA will provide an important hub for all stakeholders to work together, further demonstrating the industry’s commitment to upholding integrity across all facets of a legal, regulated sports betting market,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association.

The organization is modeled after the Europe Sport Security Association (ESSA), which is charged with preventing unfair manipulation of sporting events. The group is offering assistance during SWIMA’s start-up and the two groups plan to share data and cast a wide net to stop suspicious gambling activities.

SWIMA, which plans to officially launch in 90 days, will fund itself and will not seek any outside monetary support from state governments, sports teams or leagues.

George Rover, the former New Jersey assistant attorney general and former deputy director of the N.J. Division of Gaming Enforcement will be SWIMA’s chief integrity officer.

“We are excited to roll out the first integrity monitoring association in the United States, ensuring a safe and secure betting environment for consumers across the country, Rover said. “We look forward to partnering with gaming regulators and law enforcement in all states that legalize sports betting to undermine fraud and manipulation and protect the integrity of sports betting.”

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