"It's not a crime" – Bookmaker security chief on Joey Barton


Joey Barton has recently been banned from English football for eighteen months following his involvement in betting on his own matches.

Joey Barton

Image: Wikimedia

The English midfielder put multiple bets on negative results for his own team. However, the one-time England cap holder clarified that he only put bets on uninvolved matches.
It wasn’t a serious issue of match-fixing, however, Barton offended a series of FA protocols leading to his ban.
“Quite often the headline is match-fixing and when you look underneath it is someone betting in contravention of a rule,” said Bill South, director of security at bookmakers William Hill.
“Those are serious issues because it impinges on the integrity of that sport but it is not fixing a game.
“Joey Barton was not fixing games he was breaking an FA rule on betting.
“Fixing a game involves fraud. It is a criminal offence and we have to be really clear in distinguishing between the two.”

Face the consequences

South also admitted that the former QPR player should accept the consequences of his actions – as he is set to serve an eighteen match ban.
“The FA quite reasonably drew their conclusions as a result of the investigation and they are in the public domain,” continued South.
“They have explained why and you have to accept that they are charged with the responsibility for governing that sport.
“I would use the analogy that if you own a car and you speed and you get caught you pay a penalty and get points on your licence.
“You don’t blame the car manufacturer for designing a car that can exceed the speed limit.
“It feels to me sometimes that when something happens it’s everyone’s fault except that individual who has actually broken the rule or done something they know they shouldn’t have done.
“We all live in a world of personal responsibility and the consequences of doing something wrong belong to the individual who committed those errors.”


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