US sports betting operators establish integrity body

28 November 2018

Operators across the US have joined forces to form a new body dedicated to upholding integrity in the country’s expanding sports betting market.

The Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA) is the first non-profit group of its kind in the US and will now work with state and tribal gaming regulators, law enforcement and various other stakeholders to monitor suspicious betting activity.

Modelled on ESSA, the European sports betting integrity watchdog, SWIMA will enable members from any state submit information about suspicious bets to a central hub and alert regulators across the US to the issue. 

MGM, Caesars, William Hill, DraftKings, Paddy Power Betfair's FanDuel, 888 Holdings, Bet365, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock International, Resorts Casino Hotel and Tropicana Atlantic City have been named founding members, who will also fund the new initiative.

George Rover, a former New Jersey assistant attorney general and gaming regulator, will take on the role of chief integrity officer at the group. MGM Resorts' senior vice president and chief compliance officer Stephen Martino and Caesars' executive vice president of public policy and corporate responsiblity Jan Jones have been appointed to SWIMA's board of trustees.

Rover said the main goal of SWIMA is to ensure a safe and secure betting environment for consumers across the country, as well as protecting the integrity of sports, identifying those failing to uphold the highest standards of integrity, and looking to stamp out activities that profit from unfair wagering markets.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) senior vice-president of public affairs Sarah Slane said that SWIMA will provide an important hub for all stakeholders to work together.

“The formation of SWIMA serves as another important milestone toward realising the benefits of a legal, regulated sports betting market in the US, which provides robust consumer protection, increased transparency and additional tax revenues for state and local governments," Slane said. “The announcement comes at a critical time as dozens of states and sovereign tribal nations are poised to pursue legal sports betting in 2019.”

The US sports betting market continues to expand after the Supreme Court ruled to withdraw PASPA earlier this year, allowing all states in the country to legalise sports wagering. 

New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, West Virginia and Rhode Island have all since legalised sports betting, while sports wagering is also available in New Mexico at the Santa Ana Star Casino under tribal laws.

This week, a new report predicted a period of rapid growth for sports betting in the US, forecasting that the market will be worth $8bn (£6.2bn/€7.1bn) by 2030.

Image: Spencer