The consequences of unauthorised betting or competition manipulation, whether intentional or not, can be very serious. Aside from the risk of being sanctioned or entrapped in a criminal network, there is the risk of public humiliation for not only yourself but also for your family and team. There is also a serious chance of your professional career in sports being destroyed. By educating yourself about betting laws and regulations you can make sure to avoid situations that put you or your career at risk.
- Know the rules
Always consult the FIBA rules and the potential additional rules issued by the basketball federation of your country.
- Never bet on basketball or any multi-sport event you are participating in
As a professional or semi-professional athlete you cannot bet on basketball because of the obvious conflict of interest and the potential inside information you might have access to. If you are sanctioned for unauthorized betting you risk having your image and reputation tarnished, being banned from your sport, losing your job and you may even be subject to a criminal investigation.
- Play it safe – don’t bet at all
Betting on other sports may also raise questions. You are likely to be friends with many other athletes and you are therefore best advised not to make any bets on sport to avoid potential problems.
- Be careful about handling sensitive information
As an athlete you will have access to information that is not yet available to the general public, such as knowing that your star player is injured or that the coach is putting out a weak side. This is considered sensitive or inside information. This information is likely to be useful for people betting on your sport who want to secure an unfair advantage. There is nothing wrong with athletes having sensitive information; it’s what you do with it that matters. Passing on information to friends, family or others can get you in trouble, even if there is no obvious reward for you.
- Absolutely never fix a competition
Whatever the reason, do not fix any aspect of a competition. Do not put yourself into a situation which would bring you, or even force you to adversely influence the natural course of a game.
- Report if approached about illegal betting
Whether it’s a straightforward request to fix a game or an indirect proposition for insider information or should you witness suspicious or clear match-fixing activities you have the obligation to always report it. If you feel that something is not quite right, it usually isn’t. Report this information to your coach, lawyer, player association, your national federation or even better, directly on FIBA’s report mechanism tool available on FIBA’s website: http://www.fiba.basketball/integrity .
Please refer to Book 1 chapter 5 for an up-to-date version of the FIBA Internal Regulations governing Betting and Corruption.