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Sports in the UK have been lobbying for a cut of the bookmaking industry for a long time and government has finally heard their voice, and agrees with it, so the Minister has thrown support their way and will begin to negotiate with the bookmakers on how much they will have to give.
Richard Caborn and Tessa Jowell agreed on Wednesday in a meeting to support the case of the five major UK sports: Tennis, both codes of Cricket and Rugby, and Football. Now it is up to Caborn to contact bookmakers and negotiate a settlement.
There is a levy system in place for racing, but that is unlikely to be used in the cases of the other sports. Most likely scenario is that sportsbooks would donate $5 million and $10 million annually, to be made as a voluntary payment. In return, the sports governing bodies would agree to spend the money they receive on building grassroots programs, and policing their events.
The sports had argued that the integrity of their games were at stake by having gamblers receive inside information and games possibly being fixed.
The Gambling Act that will be in force in September will make cheating and the misuse of inside information a criminal offense, with a penalty of up to two years in prison.
With the government recently regulating sportsbooks, sports are hopeful that when the Gambling Commission publishes it’s findings later this month on the issue of information sharing, that the bookies will pass on info on any suspicious betting patterns that gamblers might have.
The one trouble area for these regulations and profit sharing is that once the five major sports start receiving money, less popular sports like darts and snooker may soon come calling, looking for their piece of the profits.