Miami Open director James Blake fined $56,250 for betting sponsorship

Tennis James Blake Betting
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A former tennis pro has been levied a hefty fine for violating betting sponsorship rules.

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has fined former 10 top ATP player James Blake $56,250 for violating the sport’s betting sponsorship guidelines. Blake, who serves as the Miami Open’s tournament director, unintentionally violated the betting rules but is subject to further punishment if he breaches the guidelines again. The 44-year-old would be handed an additional $131,250 fine and an 18-month suspension if rules are broken during a probationary period. The period, which began on Feb. 9, lasts 18 months.

“This case is more a matter of perception, rather than corruption,” said ITIA CEO Karen Moorhouse. “The rules apply to players, coaches, officials, and accredited tournament staff who all have the ability to influence results or have access to inside information.”

The ITIA’s rules bar people in the sport from securing partnerships with gambling brands.

Blake, who retired from tennis in 2013, won 10 singles titles and a Davis Cup in 2007. He was ranked as high as No. 4 on the ATP’s player rankings but never won a Grand Slam. He previously served as a BetRivers ambassador in 2021 and 2022.

Past issues in tennis

Blake’s suspension adds to a growing list of betting-related violations in tennis.

In 2022, the ITIA fined tennis coaches Bob Bryan and Mardy Fish $10,000 apiece and issued them a four-month suspension for promoting a gambling operator on social media channels.

Last year, DraftKings accepted 864 prohibited wagers worth $7,867 in Massachusetts on the Universal Tennis Ranking Tour. According to the hearing with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, DraftKings accepted the banned wagers across three events in 12 days. The Boston-based operator, which self-reported the violations, refunded lost wagers.