Don’t bet on yourself or the opponent
As a professional athlete, you must not bet on any match you or your team is involved in as it would trigger a potential conflict of interest not compatible with the integrity or ethics of your sport. This includes betting on yourself or your team to win, lose or draw as well as any of the different side-bets. These might not affect the result of the match but could nevertheless have an adverse effect on the public perception of both you and your sport and may breach national laws and/or sport specific regulations.
If you bet on yourself or your opponent you risk having your image and reputation tarnished, being sanctioned or banned by your sport (possibly for life), the possibility of losing your job and even being subject to a criminal investigation.
Note: Once you have been knocked out of any sanctioned tournament it would then be acceptable for you to bet on other players.
Fixing an event, or part of an event: an absolute No-No
Whatever the reason, do not seek to fix any aspect of a competition, no matter how small. Do not put yourself in a situation which would bring you, or even force you, to adversely influence the natural course of a sporting event.
There is no such thing as a quick and easy win and your actions will undoubtedly result in severe consequences for you and/or your team. Fixing an event, or part of an event goes against the rules and ethics of sport and when caught may lead to a criminal prosecution and a lifetime ban from that sport.
So do not put yourself at risk:
- Do not let yourself be manipulated – unscrupulous individuals might try to develop a relationship with you built on favours or fears that they will then try to exploit for their benefit in possibly fixing an event. This can include the offer of gifts, loans and support when players are young and trying to make it.
- If you have any concerns about anyone making offers to you then it is crucial that you tell someone in a senior position within your sport such as your federation and/or player association.
Try not to fall into too much debt to anyone or allow anyone to develop a hold over you. This may be a trigger for unscrupulous individuals to target you to fix competitions in return for money or support.
Report any approaches
If anyone approaches you to ask about fixing any part of a match then you should tell your player association or federation straight away. If someone offers you money or favours for sensitive information then you should also tell your federation or player association.
Any threats should always be reported. The police and national laws are there to protect you. Your club, federation or player association will help.
Do not risk it. Remote betting operators (that is a betting service provided via the internet, mobile phone or interactive television) use sophisticated security measures that mean that all suspicious bets, and the identity of those placing those bets, can be traced and reported to sports federations or national authorities.
The European Sports Security Association (ESSA) monitors any irregular betting patterns to provide an immediate early warning to sports and bookmakers. Individual operators also have their own information sharing agreements in place which allow them to directly notify sports federations of any usual or suspicious betting patterns. Modern information technology allows regulated EU betting operators to record and trace your bets for fraud prevention purposes.
Land-based betting establishments also have security measures and are linked in to betting companies’ central integrity operations.
Underage betting is illegal. If you are under 18 (or 21 depending on jurisdiction) do not access a sports betting website or enter a land-based betting establishment (or ask anyone else to do it for you in order to place a bet).
Consider your financial situation beforehand and never wager more (money) than you can afford. If you need support or advice then ask your player association for help. Betting sites will also have details of a confidential helpline number.
If in doubt – tell someone
If you ever feel that something is not quite right then trust your instinct and tell someone in a senior position such as your federation or player association. And keep a record of this.
Finally, if you have any queries on sports betting issues then it is always better to ask for advice than risk falling foul of the laws. Your player association is there to help.