Integrity concerns have historically been at the heart of professional and college leagues’ objections to sports betting. However, four years after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), there are few signs that sports leagues need to be concerned, experts in gaming say.
‘Putting aside the differences – building a new integrity ecosystem’ will be a panel topic at the SBC Summit North America to be held July 12-14 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, N.J.
When the summit convenes, Cooper Levenson will serve as the event’s Legal & Regulatory Partner. Three of the firm’s attorneys, CEO Lloyd D. Levenson, Co-Chair of the firm’s Gaming and iGaming Law Practice Group, Lynne Levin Kaufman, and gaming attorney Lucas R. Levenson will participate in active roles during the three-day summit.
“The leagues have no reason for concern. I find any ‘integrity fees’ drawn towards the US professional leagues to be a waste of money,” said Lucas Levenson.
“At this point, any kind of synchronized bet placing to indicate match-fixing would be caught easily if the operators have the correct systems in place.”
Kaufman believes similarly that controls are working. The Supreme Court struck down the PASPA in 2018.
“Although the regulations vary from state to state, operators in some states are required to have an integrity monitor. At the very least, an operator is required to have internal controls in place to help ensure that suspicious activity is detected,” Kaufman said.
“Additionally, although some can argue that an operator might want to cover up any improper activity it or the integrity monitor discovers, it is generally in the operator’s best interest to report betting irregularities because, if allowed to continue, the book/operator would likely take a financial hit.”
While it is almost impossible to fix the outcome of a match in a major league, areas of concern around integrity still exist for businesses in the industry.
“It stems generally from black market betting,” Lucas Levenson said. “Legal operators must aim to provide a more competitive product compared to what is available on the black market, otherwise these concerns will never go away.”
The risk of match-fixing is low, Kaufman said, but “there is the risk of player injury or similar information getting out and impacting the lines. But again, this is why someone is monitoring integrity”.
Beyond financial loss, Lucas Levenson said consumer trust within the leagues and/or operators are among the major risks related to integrity issues faced by operators.
“Which will turn the customer back to the black market,” Kaufman said.
Sports betting operators must utilize their league and team partners, data and technology suppliers, and global integrity organizations (such as IBIA and GLMS) to strengthen their protections, Lucas Levenson said.
“Also, we can minimize risk by sharing data with other legal sportsbooks and take significant action on games, so any irregularities can be monitored,” he said.
Kaufman credited a job well done by the American Gaming Association (AGA) with its public service campaign ‘Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly’.
“It has galvanized the above players to work together to educate the public that sports wagering protections only exist in the legal regulated market,” she concluded.
SBC Summit North America 2022, the leading conference and tradeshow for the sports betting and igaming industries in the region, takes place at Meadowlands Exposition Center, New Jersey on July 12-14.
The ‘Putting aside the differences – building a new integrity ecosystem’ conference session, sponsored by Cooper Levenson, takes place on July 13 at 5pm ET. The panelists include Jake Williams (SVP – Strategy & Operations, PointsBet), Sabrina Perel (Chief Compliance Officer, National Football League), Khalid Ali (CEO, International Betting Integrity Association), Ludovico Calvi (President, Global Lottery Monitoring System), and Becky Harris (Distinguished Fellow, Gaming & Leadership, UNLV).
Tickets for the event, which include access to eight conference tracks, an exhibition showcasing the next generation of industry products, and entrance to a selection of evening networking parties, can be booked at the SBC Summit North America website