Sir Rodney Walker, the chairman of World Snooker, has told the Guardian newspaper that the game’s governing body will sign a memorandum of understanding with Betfair in the next few days following reports that the Gambling Commission is investigating unusual betting patterns on the Peter Ebdon v Liang Wenbo at last month’s Northern Ireland Trophy.
Most British sports governing bodies have already signed this. It allows them to share information with Betfair and therefore follow an audit trail to see who is putting bets on which matches.
World Snooker had discussions with Betfair as far back as 2004. Had they signed the MOU then, the various accusations of match fixing that have occurred since may have been easily dismissed.
I do not believe that snooker has a match fixing problem. However, it has had a problem with the perception that not all matches are honest over the last couple of years.
In the main, this has resulted in the tournaments played using a round robin format where inequality of motivation between players has led to some suspicions.
Walker is doing the right thing by signing a MOU with Betfair.
The obvious question, though, is why his organisation didn’t do so much earlier.
Guardian story here.