• Snooker

Snooker chiefs launch new betting probe

ESPN staff
September 13, 2012

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association are set to launch a fresh betting investigation after being alerted to "unusual betting patterns" surrounding a low-key match between six-time world champion Steve Davis and Thai opponent Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

The sport's governing body were alerted to the suspicious fluctuations in the market surrounding the third-round match at the Players Tour Championship in Gloucester.

"The WPBSA have become aware of unusual betting patterns on a match that took place during PTC3 at the South West Snooker Academy on Saturday, 8 September 2012 between Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Steve Davis," the governing body posted on their website.

"This matter has been referred to Nigel Mawer, head of the WPBSA's integrity unit, to make preliminary enquiries to establish what has taken place and to consider if any action is appropriate."

While the match garnered little interest in UK gambling circles, snooker betting is big business in the Far East, where odds on the match fluctuated considerably.

Thepchaiya, who is ranked 79th in the world, went from being an 8-11 odds-on favourite to win the contest to odds-against ahead of the showdown, drifting as far as 11-8 by the time the match had begun.

Davis, the world No. 49, won the contest 4-0 and is not thought to be involved in any wrong-doing.

The formal enquiry, to be led by former Scotland Yard detective Nigel Mawer, will not begin until further evidence has been collected.

WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson insisted that the governing body "take any potential breach of members' betting rules very seriously.

"The WPBSA has a network of international partners to monitor such issues," said Ferguson.

"Any player found guilty of such a breach is likely to be banned for life from snooker. Protecting the integrity of the sport of snooker is of paramount importance."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.