Premier League has to prove its virtues to avoid government regulation
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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will meet with leading figures in the football betting industry this week following claims of customer grievances arising from inaccurate data.

According to the BBC, Andrew Rhodes, UKGC CEO, aims to ensure that settlement of football bets is fair and accurate. Some customers have stated that they ‘felt robbed’ due to incidents of inaccurate data being recorded by bookmakers, informing the settlement of wagers.

Many bookmakers utilise third-party data feeds to monitor matchplay and settle final outcomes. Two customer disputes highlighted related to use of Opta, which is the primary data collector for the Premier League.

These disputes involved misreported shots made by Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah and tackles made by Sunderland AFC players. . Opta data, provided by sportstech firm Stats Perform, plays a crucial role in bookmaker’s Bet Builder products.

According to the BBC, Rhodes intends to “meet figures in the football betting industry over claims that wrong results are being recorded”. 

The BBC also received a statement from Stats Perform, reading: “We take the quality, consistency, and accuracy of our sports data incredibly seriously. We work tirelessly and are proud of our data collection people, processes and event definitions that underpin the trust in the B2B services we provide to the club, league, media and betting sectors.”

The meetings could prove to be significant both due to the critical role data plays in modern football, both with regards to betting and player scouting and development, as well as in the context of the Gambling Act review White Paper.

Creation of a betting ombudsman, an independent body tasked with handling customer complaints against operators, was one of the key proposals of the review, published in April last year.

Currently, customer complaints are handled by the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS), which believes it has positioned itself as the ideal suitor for the government-commissioned ombudsman job.

SBC News noted that IBAS Managing Director, Richard Hayler, observed that ‘nearly 300 people’ appealed football data bets last year, accounting for around 15% of its workload in dispute resolutions.

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