We know that insider information is not something that you can use to your advantage in the world of betting, such is the extent to which it makes things unfair for the average Joe placing the bet. What isn’t necessarily all that clear is what exactly you should do if you find yourself in a position to take advantage of insider info but don’t want to. We know that most cases involving insider information are nefarious in their usage, but not everyone that might be in a position to gain such information will want to do the wrong thing with it.
In essence, it doesn’t matter how you came by the information, you cannot use it for your own advantage. In other words, if your cousin is a hairdresser and cuts the hair of the Everton manager, being in the room with them when they make a call to confirm the sale of their star striker to Manchester United that summer doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to place a bet on that happening because you ‘accidentally’ overheard the discussion. The rules are the same irrespective of how you can into the information, so bear that in mind.
What Is Insider Information?
The Football Association and any other organisations responsible for the running of football want to do what they can to maintain the sport’s integrity. As a result, they have specific definitions of what insider information is as well as what you can and can’t do with it. The rules of the FA apply to everyone involved with football, including match officials and staff that work at a club. They were issued with a worldwide ban on betting that remains in place, meaning that anyone association with football is banned from betting.
In terms of what it is that constitutes insider information, the FA says that it is ‘information that you are aware of due to your position in the game and which is not publicly available’. Someone working in football is not allowed to use the information in order to place a bet, nor are they allowed to instruct someone else to place a bet for them. On top of that, they cannot pass the information on to someone else if it will then be used for the purposes of betting, with word of mouth, writing and even the use of social media considered passing information on.
It is not just in the world of football where insider information can be problematic, of course. Horse racing is another industry that often sees people claiming to have information that the general public doesn’t have access to. Maybe it is a vet working with a specific yard or a groomer that keeps the horses in good condition. In most cases, the person promising you insider information is not telling the truth, so you need to report them to the police and protect yourself against betting fraud or something similar.
Where It Might Come From
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has specific thoughts about where insider information might come from. There is a ‘Betting Integrity Decision Making Framework’, which outlines that the following are just some examples of where insider information might emanate from:
- Betting operators
- Bet monitoring companies
- Sport Governing bodies
- Law enforcement
- Commission’s confidential hotline
- Media and other open sources
- Other regulators
It isn’t an exhaustive list, but it does give an indication of the sorts of places that insider information can come from. Of course, you might not be involved or know someone involved with any of them, so it’s entirely fair to point that there are plenty of other areas where you might come across insider information. The likes of friends that know someone that works at a football club are a good example, with the information still being classed as coming from an ‘insider’ even if you hear it by accident or are told it unwittingly.
As in the world of business, figuring out what is and what isn’t insider information is tricky. Imagine that you are a journalist who had an interview booked with an under-fire manager who cancels the interview, for example. That doesn’t definitely mean that they’re being sacked, but you’d be sensible to assume as much. Does it count as insider information? That is something that everyone has to decide for themselves, but going on to place a bet, especially if it’s on an exchange site (where you are in effect taking money from other punters directly), certainly has questions you need to ask yourself.
What To Do If You Get Insider Info
It is probably more appropriate to refer to this section as what you shouldn’t do if you’re on the receiving end of insider information, which is use it to your advantage. It might feel like something of a moral conundrum, being in a position where you can make money from information that you’ve been given, but to do would be more of a legal question than a moral one. The majority of people don’t want to be in a position where they will fall foul of the law, so they will ensure that they don’t do anything that is illegal, but some people will.
In terms of the Gambling Commission’s approach, they break things down according to what the information actually is. ‘The Art Of Betting’, for example, is about information that not everyone knows but could know if they were to do a bit of research. This is entirely fine and there’s nothing to worry about on that front. Equally, ‘Uninformed Information’ refers to someone receiving privileged information but not realising that they were told the info by someone in a privileged position, which is also understandable and acceptable.
As soon as someone knows that the information that they’ve received is privileged, they should avoid doing anything that might lead to them winning money thanks to that information. If someone is actively touting that they’ve got the information, you should turn to the governing body for the sport in question and the The International Betting Integrity Association and inform them about it, whilst you might also consider turning to the police or a crime prevention body.