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SWIMA, New US Integrity Body to Regulate Betting

Amid expanding sports betting operations, the United States is finally moving towards formalizing one of the most important aspects of the activity – regulation.

Regulating US Sports Betting

Bookmakers and casinos across the United States are throwing their weight in the ring moving towards standardized industry. Sports betting has just been regulated back in May, but calls for regulating the segment in a way similar to the United Kingdom and other developed markets have been heard repeatedly.

And now, the sports betting market in the US will establish its own integrity standards, elaborated as the result of a consensus between all involved parties. The Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA) is the first non-for-profit organization in the country that will focus on laying down an integrity framework for state and tribal gaming activities.

SWIMA will collaborate with local lawmakers, seek advisors’ opinion and work with law enforcement to unearth cases of match-fixing and other forms of derogatory practices that may affect the operations of bookmakers in a negative way.

With sports betting being legalized in more and more states, SWIMA’s principal goal is to protect consumers, operators and other stakeholders from potential fraud caused by the unfair manipulation of events on which betting is offered.

SWIMA is also modelled after an established body that regulates betting activities in Europe, ESSA, or the Sports Betting Integrity as it’s also known. As a result, SWIMA will work closely with operators to investigate suspicious betting activity in an attempt to unearth scheming and intentional stilting of the rules. Establishing common rules could also help tackle some of the myths surrounding sports betting, too.

As part of its inauguration, SWIMA has listed all member states, including 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.

To make sure that the organization is successful, SWIMA is bringing the legal heavy guns to assist it, with former New Jersey assistant attorney general and gaming experts George Rover stepping in as the Chief Integrity Officer.

Rover is determined to make sure that SWIMA will serve its intended purposes, protecting customers across the country and ensuring that sports are free of match-fixing scandals. Meanwhile, SWIMA has been endorsed by other important regulators, including the American Gaming Association (AGA), one of the institutions to warn against excessive regulation of the still young market.

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 – AGA Vice President Sarah Slane

Commenting on the occasion, AGA Vice President Sara Slane has expressed her content with the establishment of SWIMA, describing it as an important milestone. According to Slane, the establishment of SWIMA will also serve to curb any party that may challenge the integrity of the industry and cite national security (one of the most persistent tenets of the “against lobby”) as a reason to over-regulate it.

Understandably, there have been many reasons why sports betting has not been regulated until now, and if the pro-lobby want to see betting expand, SWIMA is the right step forward.

Simon Deloit

Simon is a freelance writer who specialises in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.