Canadian Football League (CFL) players will be educated on the hazards of sports betting and potential for manipulation in sport as part of a new e-learning course launched by The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).
The new ‘CFL Match Manipulation Policy’ has been implemented to ‘maintain the integrity of the league and protect against the increasing threats of match manipulation’, with the course guiding players through activities that outline the core components of the policy, as well as example scenarios.
These components include corruption offences, the consequences of those offences, and how to report incidents of match manipulation and cooperate in related investigations.
“When done responsibly, sports wagering can be a way for our fans to better connect with the game they love, but it can also open the possibility for individuals and outcomes to be questioned,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.
“The Match Manipulation Policy and its corresponding education safeguards the integrity of our great game and the character of our players, leaders and personnel. As sports wagering grows, we must continue to focus on education, responsibility and accountability throughout the league.”
The CCES has reported that a single CFL game can generate over $6m in global wagers, highlighting just how lucrative the league is and therefore how susceptible it can be to match-fixers.
With players and those closely associated with the CFL in a potentially vulnerable position, the decision has been made to launch the course – the first-of-its-kind for a professional league in Canada – to protect the league’s most valuable assets.
Jeremy Luke, CCES President and CEO, explained: “The CFL’s new Match Manipulation Policy provides an important layer of protection for the league against anyone who would try to manipulate events for their gain.
“As with all policies, it’s essential that everyone who is subject to it has a clear sense of their rights and responsibilities under that policy. The e-learning course the CCES has provided for players and personnel will ensure learners understand the policy’s core elements and gives them the tools to identify match manipulation in practice.”
Developed in partnership with McLaren Global Sport Solutions (MGSS), the CFL Match Manipulation Policy is designed specifically for the league and has has four stated objectives:
- To maintain the integrity of the CFL;
- To protect against efforts to improperly impact the results of CFL games, activities, or the season;
- To establish a uniform rule and consistent scheme of enforcement and sanctions for everyone who is subject to the policy; and
- To ensure that agreements with sportsbooks comply with the CFL Authorized Gaming Operator program requirements.
The rise in popularity of sports betting has created potential pitfalls for many, if not all, leagues around the world, irrespective of the sport.
Just across the border, the ‘Coalition for Responsible Sports Betting Advertising’ – comprising nine organisations, including MLB, NFL and MLS – was set up to tackle the growing problem of sports betting advertisements.
While leagues and teams have benefitted from various sponsorships that bring money into sport, there is a growing expectancy that players, coaches, fans and more, are given the maximum protection and education of the dangers of sports betting in order to negate the negative impacts of the product.