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Golf bookies on alert as Ryder Cup wildcard announcements become imminent

A lot of this is bookies boosting their own PR but obviously there is some substance behind it. Any time someone knows the answer before the official announcements are made (Academy Awards, Big Brother etc), then there is always a risk of insider trading.

Montgomerie 'on guard' to ensure no Ryder Cup betting coup

Gambling fears prompts Europe captain to be wary of telling wildcard contenders decision ahead of announcement.



As if Colin Montgomerie hasn't enough to think about in this run-up to making his three picks, the Ryder Cup captain must also be wary of a betting scam staged by "unscrupulous insiders". A source inside the European Tour yesterday revealed the Scot will be "on his guard" to ensure his selections do not leak out before his team announcement here on Sunday night.

Montgomerie has said he plans to speak to all the wild-card contenders before the official unveiling, meaning many would inevitably learn of his decision while bookmakers are still taking bets on who will get the nod. Whether he will now alter this plan after hearing the concerns of the Tournament Players' Committee is unclear. But many betting firms are not prepared to take the chance.

"We don't want to leave ourselves in a position whereby we can have our pants pulled down by potentially unscrupulous insiders chasing a quick buck," said a Ladbrokes spokesman yesterday.

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Even the bookmakers who will take bets in the hour between the conclusion of the final qualifying tournament and Montgomerie's announcement will have their finger hovering above the "suspend" button. "We do discuss the risks about insider trading on these type of markets and our traders will watch it very closely," said a Paddy Power spokesman. "If there is any activity that suggests insider knowledge we will close or suspend the market immediately." 

It is a similar story at the spread- betting specialists, Sporting Index, who will also be keeping a close eye on who is wagering what. "We will be trading up right until the announcement, but trading conservatively," said their spokesman. "We would be able to tell by the profile of a client's account if anything unusual might be taking place. If, for instance, a client who usually has a smallish average stake size suddenly requests a bet far bigger than usual on the market in question, alarm bells would ring and we would limit that trade."

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