Darts regulator suspends two over potential match-fixing

The DRA, the Darts regulator, suspends two over potential match-fixing in the MODUS ICONS of Darts series.

The unregulated series (not officially under DRA rules) has been a long running fixture during the lockdown and has provided darts fans with valuable live darts action throughout.

The series has attracted a lot of unwanted allegations of match fixing, with many players being abused online in social media when losing matches.
Darts Mad has previously reported on a match seen as suspect by many on social media, and received an official statement from betting exchange Betfair who investigated the issue after a mammoth amount of bets were placed on the match to be won by the pre-match outsider.

The following article has appeared on the online gambling website igamingbusiness that covers all aspects of online gambling. The article reports the suspension by the DRA of Wessel Nijman and Kyle McKinstry. Source

Darts regulator suspends two over potential match-fixing

18 August 2020
The Darts Regulation Authority (DRA), the global regulatory body for the sport, has suspended two players after suspicious betting on matches they played in was flagged by the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA).

The cases relate to darts professionals Kyle McKinstry, ranked 92nd in the world, and Wessel Nijman, ranked 288th, who have both been suspended from attending or competing in DRA-sanctioned events until disciplinary committee hearings have taken place.

In the case of McKinstry, suspicious betting on a match against David Evans in the Modus A Night at the Darts series on 30 April was flagged by the IBIA. McKinstry lost that match 5-0, with further suspicious activity identified in a 2 May match against Nijman.

For Nijman, suspicious betting was identified in a match played on 14 May, again versus Evans, and again in the Modus Icons of Darts series. Njiman lost the match 4-0.

The DRA noted that there was no suggestion that Evans was involved in any way with the alleged breach of the rules.

This prompted the DRA to launch investigations, working closely with Sportradar’s Integrity Services arm, the GB Gambling Commission’s Sports Betting Intelligence Unit, the Malta Gaming Authority and Gibraltar Gambling Regulator, with input from betting operators.

DRA chair Nigel Mawer concluded that both McKinstry and Nijman have cases to answer, with Nijman to be investigated for one count of match-fixing and McKinstry on two counts.

The rules state that it is an offence to make any effort to fix or contrive – or be party to any effort to fix or contrive – the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of a darts event. Providing information related to an event that is not in the public domain or readily accessible to a third party also constitutes an offence under DRA rules.

McKinstry faces a separate charge of failing to cooperate with the inquiry, by failing to provide itemised billing data for his phone.

DRA rules state that players and registered agents must cooperate with any investigation, by providing all information related to potential breaches.

This requires individuals to hand over betting accounts, bank records, telephone records, internet service records, social media accounts, email and other records stored on phones, tablets, electronic devices, computer hard drives or otherwise.

The punishment for the offences range from fines to permanent suspensions from the sport.

Ends.

The PDPA has issued the following statement on their website:

PDPA statement
The PDPA is disheartened to learn that two of our members have been referred to the Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) Disciplinary Committee for formal hearings for breaches of integrity rules in relation to betting and match-fixing in DRA sanctioned events, unconnected with the Professional Darts Corporation.

This is considered a serious matter and it is right and just that any player in breach of these rules is punished accordingly. Kyle McKinstry and Wessel Nijman have both been suspended from attending or competing in DRA sanctioned events until the conclusion of the hearings.

McKinstry has indicated his intention to appeal this decision therefore the PDPA is unable to comment further on his ongoing case at this time. Nijman has accepted the charges, admitted the offence, expressed his regret and is fully cooperating with the DRA.

While the PDPA as an organisation condemns his actions, we also recognise his admission of guilt, his remorse, his willingness to cooperate and his desire to re-educate himself on matters of integrity.

We have provided Nijman with support, guidance, education and assistance and will continue to do so throughout the case and beyond.

The same support remains available to McKinstry. Our primary purpose is to serve and support all of our members and we hope that Nijman’s mistakes will also serve as a reminder of the severity of such an offence.

Members are reminded to engage with our educational activities, including the e-learning module on betting integrity and our annual seminars. We also recently released new social media guidance, which includes the advice to report any integrity issues to the relevant authority.

Any suspicious approaches should be reported to the DRA or players should contact the PDPA for assistance in such matters.

The PDPA will be making no further comment on these individual cases at this time but would like to take this opportunity to remind all members to remain vigilant, educated and safe in this area.

PDPA associate member Wessel Nijman has issued the following statement in response to a Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) Disciplinary Committee referral:

I would like to place on public record my sincere regret and apology for the mistake I made in relation to betting and match-fixing. I was put under some pressure to lose a match and I agreed to do this. I have admitted the offence and take full responsibility for it and will accept my punishment.

I should have spoken to my management, the PDPA, DRA or police when I was put in this position and would advise any other player who finds themselves in a similar position to do that. Instead, I went along with it and made a stupid mistake that I am rightly being punished for.

It was a one-off error of judgement which I want to put behind me and do everything I can to put right. I have made private apologies to the people who I have let down, including my family who have backed me through my whole career, my management and sponsors, and I want to publicly apologise to them and everybody involved in darts, including fans.

My actions are a personal mistake made by me and not a reflection on the sport of darts. I want to move on, rebuild my career and reputation and am committed to helping to educate others through my own unfortunate experience so that this kind of offence can be prevented.

I will be making no further comment on this matter at this time.

Wessel Nijman

Note from owners of darts mad: It should be noted that there are no allegations against the MODUS ICONS of Darts series itself. Any mention of the series in this article is purely because of the players and allegations against them involved matches played during the series.

Article will be updated as more news breaks.