In-play betting will never be banned, says expert

Despite spot- and match-fixing scandals coming to the fore recently, with Blackburn striker DJ Campbell one player to be taken into custody, Jack Anderson feels it is too valuable
In-play gambling on sport is too valuable to regulated bookmakers to ever be banned, even in light of recent spot-fixing allegations, according to an expert on the subject.

Spot- and match-fixing have become an issue of some concern in sport, with English football the latest to come under the spotlight in recent months as a number of arrests were made by the National Crime Agency (NCA) as part of investigations into alleged offences.

Blackburn striker DJ Campbell was named as one of those taken into custody earlier in December as part of the NCA inquries, with questions being raised as to how the game can look to combat possible corruption.

But Jack Anderson, a law professor at Queen's University in Belfast, who has carried out research into gambling-led corruption in sport, believes that in-play betting - which allows users to gamble on markets such as the next booking and number of corners - makes so much money that leading bookmakers would never allow it to be outlawed.

"Some people say that you should ban it," he told Perform. "That's not going to happen. The regulated betting companies will not permit that to happen. There's too much money in the gambling market.

"The regulated bookies will be very wary of unusual betting patterns on an unusual event. They'll be extremely aware of that.

"They are very risk averse. They are the front line and they would be able to spot and shut these down."

Anderson believes that the greater threat actually comes from unregulated betting markets, which he believes could be the root of the recent problems.

"What you're dealing with is the unregulated market, whereby an individual player decides to do something outside the normal course of events, or whereby there's betting in the unregulated Asian market. That's more difficult," he added.

"But you're not going to get in-play betting on the official sites banned. That's just not going to happen, mainly for monetary reasons."