Kambi: Talking integrity

By Oliver Lamb, head of sportsbook control, Kambi  

As we know from our experience in Europe, one of the most important issues for lotteries is that of integrity. How we protect the reputation of both sports and betting is often one of the first questions we are asked when we meet those considering launching a sports betting product. Thankfully, as a result of the thorough work put in by ourselves and the relationships we have built with sports governing bodies and other important stakeholders, Kambi has a very positive story to tell. We are in the position to explain the lengths we go to in order to ensure lotteries, their players and sport as a whole is protected from instances of corruption.

Oliver Lamb, head of sportsbook control, Kambi

While it’s not my place to talk about what other sports betting suppliers and operators do, it’s clear to see there has been great effort placed on tackling match fixing industry-wide. Of course, if we are to maintain a sustainable betting industry, it’s in everyone’s best interests to invest time and resources into this crucial area.

Integrity is core

Take Kambi as an example. We are, in essence, a company of 650 sports fans, half of whom are frontline trading operations staff who monitor betting activity around the clock, all trained to spot and escalate at the first suspicion of irregular activity.

And thanks to advancements in technology, traders are supported and evermore superseded by real-time data analytics tools, for which bespoke match fixing algorithms have been written. These protocols and algorithms are continuously updated, with the cat and mouse pursuit between bookmaker and match fixer requiring our constant attention.

Yet with every turn of the screw it becomes clearer that we have the upper hand. All new episodes of suspicious activity see the population of our integrity database increase, with suspicious participants – teams, players, referees, umpires, etc. – blocked from our betting offering and action taken against accounts involved.

In these situations, the support offered by and to our integrity network gives me faith that we’re on the right path. As well as keeping our own house in order, when we see suspicious activity we are committed to escalating all relevant data to our information-sharing partners as quickly as possible.

Information sharing

Kambi’s operators will always receive a report detailing all data that we hold regarding the sporting event and the accounts immediately after our primary investigation has concluded, and many of them have chosen to build their own partnerships and strategies on top of Kambi’s pro bono integrity service.

We will also escalate, either as Kambi or on behalf of our operators, to other entities where an information-sharing agreement is in place. These partners can be integrity representatives of sports governing bodies, official data rights holders or the regulators where either Kambi or our operators hold a license.

In the regulatory space we have an ideal partner in the UK Gambling Commission, whose well informed and highly responsive intelligence unit is empowered to act upon the information that the betting industry provides.

While operators and suppliers do all they can to ensure their platforms are as a hostile as possible to match fixers, the regulators are able to take our investigations to the next level, activating their own networks across borders and sectors in order to apply the appropriate sanctions to those who wish to corrupt sports.

Across the pond

So while we have gone some way to allay integrity fears in Europe, there remains a story to be told in newer markets. For instance, as the US market edges towards regulation, one of the topics at the top of all lottery stakeholder agendas is that of sports integrity. Many of the bills that have been proposed to state legislatures show that there is still much to be discussed; however, this need not be an area of contention.

On the contrary, open cooperation on this issue between the betting industry, sports governing bodies, regulators and law enforcement has been one of the true success stories of regulated markets across the globe, particularly here in Europe.

The secure and stable information sharing partnerships that have been fostered on all sides has afforded a level of transparency that has over the course of recent years shut down numerous match fixing operations, protected consumers and preserved the integrity of sport itself. Indeed, there is to some extent a ready-made global integrity network waiting to be plugged into by US stakeholders.

Therefore, I’m encouraged that the integrity issue is being given due attention as we await a ruling on PASPA. The threat that match fixing poses to sports is indeed real, but if any lesson can be learned from other regulated markets it’s that open cooperation and transparency between stakeholders will be key to ensuring that onshore sportsbooks will not be open to abuse by corrupt elements.

Prospective US bettors can have faith that robust networks will be in place from day one in order to keep the sports they love free from manipulation, just as it is here in Europe.

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Synopsis

Français

Kambi : une question d’intégrité

Par Oliver Lamb, Directeur du contrôle des paris sportifs de Kambi.

Comme nous l’avons appris en Europe, l’une des questions les plus importantes pour les opérateurs de loteries est celle de l’intégrité. Lorsque Kambi rencontre des personnes qui envisagent de lancer un produit de paris sportifs, la double protection du sport et des paris figure souvent dans les premiers points abordés. Heureusement, il se trouve que notre bilan en la matière est très positif, grâce à notre travail minutieux et aux relations que nous avons établies avec les instances dirigeantes du sport et avec les autres acteurs importants de l’industrie. Nous sommes en position d’expliquer les mesures que nous mettons en place pour protéger les opérateurs, les joueurs et le sport en général face aux risques de corruption.

Español

Kambi: hablar de integridad

Oliver Lamb, jefe de control de centros de apuestas deportivas, Kambi

Como sabemos por nuestra propia experiencia en Europa, una de las cuestiones más importantes para las loterías es la integridad. Cómo protegemos la reputación, tanto de los deportes como de las apuestas, suele ser una de las primeras cuestiones que nos plantean al reunirnos con personas interesadas en lanzar un producto de apuestas deportivas. Por suerte, gracias a nuestro minucioso trabajo y a las relaciones que hemos entablado con organismos reguladores deportivos y otras partes interesadas importantes, Kambi tiene una historia muy positiva que contar. Podemos explicar todo lo que hacemos para garantizar que las loterías, sus jugadores y el conjunto del deporte están protegidos contra la corrupción.

Deutsch

Kambi: Blickpunkt Integrität

Von Oliver Lamb, Head von Sportsbook Control, Kambi

Aus unserer Erfahrung in Europa wissen wir, dass die Integrität ein zentrales Thema für Lotterien ist. Bei Meetings mit Unternehmen, die ein Sportwettenprodukt auf den Markt bringen wollen, ist eine der ersten Fragen oft, wie wir die Reputation des Sports und des Wettsystems schützen. Zum Glück verfügen wir dank all der Arbeit, die wir selbst und im Rahmen unserer Beziehungen mit Behörden und anderen Interessengruppen geleistet haben, über einen sehr positiven Erfahrungsschatz. Wir können detailliert darstellen, wie wir Lotterien, Spieler und den Sport als Ganzes vor Korruption schützen.

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