Casino gaming heavy hitters MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment are among a group of companies that have banded together to form the Sports Wagering Integrity Monitoring Association (SWIMA), a new national non-profit organization to help monitor integrity and fight fraud as the country’s new sports wagering market expands.
According to a report from Reuters, SWIMA will be led by Chief Integrity Officer George Rover, a former New Jersey assistant attorney general and gaming regulator. He will report to a board of trustees that includes Stephen Martino, MGM Resorts International’s chief compliance officer and a former state regulator in Maryland and Kansas, and former Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones, now Caesars Entertainment Corp’s executive vice president of public policy and corporate responsibility. Other companies involved with SWIMA currently include William Hill PLC, DraftKings and FanDuel Group, a unit of Paddy Power Betfair PLC.
SWIMA plans to be operational by the first quarter of 2019. The core objectives of the group will be to provide a safe and secure betting environment for consumers in the legal markets in the U.S. and to protect the integrity of sports betting and related activity by detecting bad actors and discouraging activities that profit from unfair betting markets, according to various published reports. The group is modeled on ESSA, a sports betting integrity group in Europe with which SWIMA will also share information to identify potential fraud that could have a global reach.
SWIMA has already received a nod of approval from the American Gaming Association. “The formation of SWIMA serves as another important milestone toward realizing the benefits of a legal, regulated sports betting market in the U.S., which provides robust consumer protection, increased transparency and additional tax revenues for state and local governments,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association in a prepared statement. “The 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.”