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Gambling in Sport

The RFL wants to create a strong ethical environment to preserve the integrity and future of the sport of Rugby League and has devised a set of rules regulating betting in the sport - Betting Integrity Rules

The RFL recognises the long-established principle and expectation of those involved in sport and the general public that sport is played on a level playing field. The outcome of a particular contest should always be determined by the respective merits of the competitors on the day and nothing else.

Increases in technology such as social media and smart phones have made gambling much more accessible. The RFL is engaged in regular information-sharing, cooperation and the raising of awareness of gambling-related matters plus the delivery of values-based education to the players and those involved in the sport to encourage them to make sensible and ethical decisions.

Betting on any form of Rugby League, either directly or indirectly, in any part of the world is now heavily prohibited by the Betting Integrity Rules which form part of the Operational Rules. Those rules serve as an effective deterrent but the RFL also recognises that education is paramount. The rules apply to everyone involved in Rugby League, from the players and coaches to match officials and other club staff.

The Betting Integrity Rules also prohibit betting on any other Rugby League-related matter such as the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters. The passing of privileged information to somebody who uses that information for betting purposes is similarly prohibited. Privileged information would typically amount to information that someone is aware of due to his or her position in the game and which is not publicly available, for example, this may be injury or team selection news or details of an impending coach or player transfer. Individuals subject to the Betting Integrity Rules are not permitted to use privileged information to place a bet or to instruct someone else to do so on your behalf.

Contriving or failing to perform to one’s best in a match is prohibited and is treated extremely seriously. In addition, offering or accepting any bribes related in any way to improperly influencing the result or conduct of a match or competition or any event within a match or competition is similarly prohibited and serious. Contriving or attempting to contrive is prohibited. If found proved, this is likely to lead to a suspension, and in some instances, a lifetime ban from Rugby League. If you are approached or suspect that a colleague or someone you know has been approached or is involved in contriving, then you must report it to the RFL immediately. Failure to report any such offers or failure to comply with any investigation may also result in a charge.

Approaches to fix games or events within games is not just the concern of players, such approaches may also be made to match officials or other club staff.

The RFL, the Gambling Commission and betting companies have sophisticated information sharing platforms, databases and systems to monitor and detect breaches of the Betting Integrity Rules. These organisations advise us of issues or irregularities that arise in the cash, telephone and online betting markets. If you attempt to match fix, or breach the RFL Betting Integrity Rules, or pass on privileged information, you are likely to get caught and receive a charge. The RFL has the power to investigate and interview you and to require you to produce any relevant records or evidence. If found guilty, then this can lead to financial penalties, suspensions, and in some instances, lifetime bans. Criminal sanctions are also possible under the Section 42 of the Gambling Act 2005.

Reporting Suspicious Betting Activity

Suspicious activity around Sports Betting can be reported direct to the Gambling Commission’s Sports Betting Intelligence Unit at sbiu@gamblingcommission.gov.uk or on 0121 230 6666.

Alternatively, you can call a confidential intelligence line on 0121 230 6655. If you wish to make a report directly the RFL please contact:

Laura Fairbank.
T: 07595 520184
E: laura.fairbank@rfl.uk.com

Betting Integrity Rules

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