The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) conducted an investigation into the allegation that Stuart Bingham was betting on snooker in contravention of the WPBSA Members Rules. The investigation was supported by the Gambling Commission Sports Betting Intelligence Unit. On 15th March 2017 the WPBSA decided that he had a case to answer and the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee with an independent chair would hear the case.
After a hearing chaired by Nicholas Randall QC that took place on 11th July 2017, Stuart Bingham admitted a small amount of betting on snooker using two accounts in his own name, to limited betting on snooker using three proxy accounts and to betting with a third party on high break scores.
The WPBSA contested his account and the hearing found him to be guilty of much greater betting over at least seven years. This included bets on his own matches using an account in his manager’s name between 2003 and 2015, which he had not admitted.
The estimated total of his betting on snooker in this time is £35,771. Where he was using proxy accounts to bet, it is not possible to establish whether he won or lost from his betting activity.
The detail of the betting and finding of the Committee is summarised below.
|He bet on snooker using an account in his name in 2009-10 to a total of £424.44, with losses of £280.20.
|He bet on snooker using an account in his name in 2012-13 to a total of £20, all of which were losing bets.
|He placed bets on snooker matches that he was playing in using his manager’s account. There were 36 matches between 2003 and 2015 to a value of £4,636.
|Between 25th August 2009 and 11th January 2017 he bet on snooker using an account in his manager’s name.
|Between 1st January 2012 and 11th January 2017 he bet on snooker using a different account in his manager’s name.
In relation to counts 4 and 5(a)i and 5(a)ii the exact value of the betting by Stuart Bingham on his manager’s account could not be ascertained. The hearing found that he was responsible for 50% of it to a value of £29,619.73.
|That his manager placed bets for Stuart Bingham’s direct or indirect benefit
|That a second party placed bets for Stuart Bingham’s direct or indirect benefit to a value of £1,706.85
|Between 1st December 2014 and 8th November 2016 he placed bets with a third party to a value of £ 4,000 that his highest break in a competition would be beaten. All of which were winning bets, where made a profit of £7,000.
The charges at 5(a)iii and 6(b) were not found.
The finding of the Disciplinary Committee can be found in full here.
On Wednesday 11th October 2017 there was a second hearing to determine sanction, where the decision of the Committee was that Stuart Bingham serve a six month period of suspension effective from 28th October 2017. Of this period three months and one day are suspended until 31 October 2018 subject to Stuart Bingham confirming that he will comply with any course of medical treatment recommended to him regarding his gambling and will commit no further rule breaches.
This means that Stuart Bingham will serve an immediate suspension from 28 October 2017 until 26 January 2018 and the remainder of the six month periods of disqualification (three months and one day) will not be enforced provided he complies with the conditions identified above and provided also he is not found to have committed any similar breaches during the period ending 31 October 2018.
The Committee ordered Stuart Bingham pay £20,000 towards the costs incurred by the WPBSA.
The finding on sanction and costs can be found here.
There is no suggestion whatsoever that Stuart Bingham was doing anything to influence match outcomes or engaged in any corrupt activity, he was solely betting on snooker.
He has until 6th November 2017 to appeal the decision.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “It is very disappointing to see such a high profile player fall foul of the WPBSA Betting Rules. Stuart is a great competitor and I have no doubt he has always played to the best of his ability. This case shows that there are no exceptions to the rules. Players must understand that they cannot bet on snooker at all, even if they are not involved in a match or event. Any player found to breach of the betting rules will face the most serious of consequences”.
The WPBSA Rules
The WPBSA Rule pre 25th August 2009 was:
- A Player shall not bet or lay bets on the result, score or any other aspect of any snooker or billiards match in which he is playing or cause any such bet to be placed or laid on his
The WPBSA Rule post 25th August 2009 is:
- Betting misconduct
2.1 It shall be a breach of these Rules for a Member to do any of the following:
22.214.171.124 to place, accept, lay or otherwise make a Bet with any other person in relation to the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match in events sanctioned by the WPBSA, WSL or WBL;
126.96.36.199 to solicit, induce, entice, instruct, persuade, encourage, facilitate, authorise or permit any other person to enter into a Bet for the Member’s direct or in direct benefit in relation to the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match in events sanctioned by the WPBSA, WSL, WBL, WLBS or WDBS;
The full WPBSA Members Rules can be viewed here.