Snooker Stuart Bingham, the former world champion, has been charged after admitting betting on matches.
The world No 3 from Essex has been the subject of an investigation by the WPBSA’s disciplinary committee. The probe focused on allegations that Bingham, 40, had used the account of a third party to place a series of bets on professional matches.
There is no suggestion that Bingham has been involved in match-fixing or corruption, or betting against himself, but placing bets on any match is banned and he now seems likely to face a large fine or a ban, with Bingham set to plead guilty. Alfie Burden was fined £5,000 and given a six-month suspended ban this year for similar rules breaches.
A WPBSA said in a statement released last night: “Following an investigation into an alleged breach of the WPBSA Betting Rules by Stuart Bingham, a decision has been taken today that there is a case to answer.
“The matter has now been referred to the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee where a formal hearing will take place at a venue and date to be confirmed.
“This relates to bets placed on snooker in contravention of the WPBSA Betting Rules.
“There is no suggestion of any match manipulation or corruption in this case.”
Bingham said: “There have been enquiries going on over the last few weeks. I have used another account to place bets on snooker matches.
“It is similar to what Alfie Burden did, but I have never bet against myself, and never been involved in any match-fixing or corruption. I did some accumulators, and used someone else’s account. It was boredom, really.
“It looks as if I have got it wrong, it was stupid, and I wasn’t aware enough of the rules.
“I have fully co-operated with the enquiries and will continue to do so.
“But basically I did it, I can’t change that, and will have to take whatever is coming. We have to be seen to be whiter than white.
“A lot of snooker players have grown up in snooker clubs putting money in fruit machines and betting on everything – it was the culture.
“A lot of players will still play practice matches for £20 for a best of nine, but that is no excuse and I know this is different.
“I have done wrong and if there is anything I can do to help young players read the contract properly or give them advice on this, I will do that.”
Bingham’s finest hour in the sport came in 2015, when he beat Shaun Murphy 18-15 in the World Championship final at the Crucible.
He won the Welsh Open last month, a fourth ranking title, while the investigation was under way.