Two members of the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB), including the internet sports betting firm Blue Square Sportsbook, reported unusual wagering activity over the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League (SPL) match between the Heart of Midlothian Football Club and the Motherwell Football and Athletic Club.
Last Wednesday, the ABB notified the Scottish Football Association (SFA) of numerous bets being place towards the issuance of a red card during the previous night’s match. In Liverpool, a new account was opened to wager £500 despite 10 to 1 odds, the maximum bet allowed. The punter then tried to place additional money on that particular bet until the kickoff, but fail-safes at the online sportsbook in the UK prevented this. During the Tuesday night match, 83 minutes into the game, Steve Jennings, the Motherwell midfielder earned a straight red card when he protested to Stevie O’Reilly, the referee, over an abandoned penalty claim.
The Gambling Commision, created under the British gambling laws in 2005, is now investigating and expected to release a statement in less than a week. Despite being instructed by Motherwell not to speak publicly, Jenning refutes allegations of misconduct. His employers are being supportive to the player and adamantly deny conducting their own inquiry into the affair. Gordon Young, caretaker manager, asserted his confidence that the qualms are “unfounded”.