US Stakeholders Create National Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association

US sports betting stakeholders are following through on their plan to create a national alliance.

On Tuesday, executives from Caesars and MGM became founding members of the new Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA). According to a press release, the organization is:


designed as a collaborative entity to partner with state and tribal
gaming regulators; federal, state and tribal law enforcement; and other
various stakeholders to detect and discourage fraud and other illegal or
unethical activity related to betting on sporting events.

The nonprofit is the first of its kind in the US, modeling itself after an international organization (ESSA) based in Europe.

Eight US states currently have legal sports betting in some capacity.

SWIMA to monitor US sports betting

In
recent months, US stakeholders have expressed an interest in creating
something similar to ESSA for the emerging domestic market. The American Gaming Association, for example, mused about the possibilities during the recent Global Gaming Expo.

That has now come to fruition. Here’s more on SWIMA’s mission from the release:

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. Reaching this goal requires a
multi-jurisdictional approach with operators in different states and
tribal jurisdictions sharing information related to unusual or
suspicious activity in their sports betting operations within and
between different markets and, when appropriate, with gaming regulators
and law enforcement.

The group also lays out its two primary goals:

  • To provide a safe and secure betting environment for consumers in the legal markets of the US.
  • To
    protect the integrity of sports betting and its related activity,
    identify bad actors and discourage activities that profit from unfair
    betting markets.

SWIMA is fully funded by its members, requiring no third-party help from leagues, governments or taxpayers.

More about SWIMA membership

The founding members of SWIMA appointed the well-qualified George Rover as its Chief Integrity Officer.
The former New Jersey Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Director of
the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement will oversee day-to-day
operations.

Here are his thoughts from the presser:

“We
are excited to roll out the first Integrity Monitoring Association in
the United States, ensuring a safe and secure betting environment for
consumers across the country. We look forward to partnering with gaming
regulators and law enforcement in all states that legalize sports
betting to undermine fraud and manipulation and protect the integrity of
sports betting.”

Stephen Martino (MGM) and Jan Jones (Caesars) make up the initial SWIMA Board of Trustees. Jones is a former Las Vegas mayor.

The
group did not disclose the full list of members, but did indicate that
it “include[s] most of the major sports betting operators.” The
expectation is that all regulated operators will join over time. Each
will hold a seat on the Board of Delegates.

While it appears the AGA is not directly involved, executive Sara Slane offered support in a statement to LSR:

“The
formation of [SWIMA] serves as another important milestone toward
realizing the benefits of a legal, regulated sports betting market in
the United States, which provides robust consumer protection, increased
transparency and additional tax revenues for state and local
governments.

Today’s announcement comes at a critical time as
dozens of states and sovereign tribal nations are poised to pursue legal
sports betting in 2019. Moving forward, SWIMA will provide an important
hub for all stakeholders to work together, further demonstrating the
industry’s commitment to upholding integrity across all facets of a
legal, regulated sports betting market.”