February 23, 2024 3 min read


ITIA Hits Miami Open Tournament Director James Blake with Fine

The tennis watchdog acknowledged that the violation was unintentional, which is why it was punished with a $56,000 monetary penalty

The independent body established to safeguard the integrity of professional tennis across the globe, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), announced it imposed a penalty after it found a tennis official breached the established betting sponsorship rules. Besides players, the TACP rules apply to coaches, as well as other officials, often referred to in the tennis vertical as covered persons.

As such, anyone involved in professional tennis and tournaments sanctioned under the governing bodies of tennis and the ITIA must adhere to the established regulations. The ITIA found that James Blake, the Miami Open tournament director and former player, breached its TACP rules regarding sponsorship.

This week, the ITIA said that the tournament director cooperated with its investigation. Moreover, the Agency confirmed that Blake did not contest the charge he was facing in light of the breach. According to the ITIA, he breached a TACP rule that prohibits covered persons from engaging or promoting wagering on the sport. The exact rule reads: “No Covered Person shall directly or indirectly, facilitate, encourage and/or promote Tennis Betting (Facilitation).”

A Monetary Penalty Imposed along with a Suspended Fine and a Ban

Karen Moorhouse, the ITIA’s CEO, revealed that the strict rules set out by the Agency apply to ITF, WTA, the ATP, as well as Grand Slams, meaning that anyone involved professionally within those competitions must comply. “This case is more a matter of perception, rather than corruption,” she explained.

Moorhouse reiterated that the TACP rules are applicable the same way for players, as well as tennis officials, coaches and other tournament staff that may have access to confidential information. Finally, she said: “We urge anyone in the sport who is unclear or is considering commercial deals like this to get in touch with us to seek guidance.”

The rules apply to players, coaches, officials and accredited tournament staff – who all have the ability to influence results or have access to inside information.

Karen Moorhouse, CEO of the ITIA

Upon investigating the breach, the ITIA accepted that this was an “unintentional” violation. Subsequently, it issued a fine of $56,250 against Blake. To ensure compliance, the tennis watchdog imposed a suspended ban of 18 months along with a suspended fine of $131,250, explaining that those would not be implemented in case the official conducts another breach in a period of 18 months starting from February 9, 2024. This otherwise means that the strictest part of the sanction would only be enforced if the Miami Open tournament director breaches the rules again in the next year and a half.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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