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Match-fixing suppression undertaken by WPBSA

billardNigel Mawer, chairman of the disciplinary committee of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), has said that snooker authorities must monitor betting markets if they are to curb match-fixing in the sport.

Speaking to the Reuters news agency, former Scotland Yard detective Mawer said that the approach was “crucial” to keeping track of such activities.

“The point for me is if you are going to fix a match, normally it's for people to win money by betting,” he said. “So it's crucial that we can monitor betting markets worldwide. It gives us the opportunity to investigate.”

Mawer also said that building good relationships with the gambling industry and the UK Gambling Commission would help to fight the problem.

“What that does mean is that often I will know if there's a movement in the betting market before a match is even being played,” he said. “That's very useful because it gives us a chance at early intervention.”

Match-fixing in snooker came to light recently when former world No.5 Stephen Lee was given a 12-year ban in relation to corruption in seven matches between 2008 and 2009.

“The Stephen Lee case has sent shockwaves across snooker, but it helps players who have to make a decision if they have an approach,” Mawer added.

“The Lee case will help them make the right decision and say no to an approach and build confidence in the players and I think now they will report if there were any approaches.”

In an attempt to help combat future incidents, the WPBSA last week agreed a deal with the Qatar-based International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS).

The ICSS, which already works with the European Professional Football Leagues and the International Ice Hockey Federation, has a team of investigators that specialise in sports integrity and have various sources in international sportsbetting.

“One of the most important things that will come out of the partnership for us is that they will provide us with the ability to monitor betting worldwide which will extend our coverage,” Mawer added.

Jake March, an integrity consultant at ICSS, added: “As the sport gets more popular, there's more interest, it's more televised, there will be more betting on the sport and the risk will go up.

“The more money gets involved there will be more chances of corruption.”