Joe Perry, who hails from Chatteris, has been fined and handed a suspended three-month ban from snooker after the former World Championship semi-finalist admitted breaching betting rules.
The 42-year-old Englishman, who sits 22nd in the world rankings, placed almost 200 bets during a period from 2009 to 2013, using five different accounts registered in his name.
He has been ordered to pay £2,500 by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), but the ban is suspended until after next year’s World Championship.
Importantly, Perry did not bet on any matches in which he played, and the prospect of a long punishment, or even a lifetime ban, was dismissed by investigators given there was no element of match-fixing.
A statement from the WPBSA said: “After a hearing before the WPBSA disciplinary committee that took place on July 18, 2017 Joe Perry admitted that between 2009 and 2013 he had breached the WPBSA members’ rules by placing bets on matches using five different betting accounts in his own name.
“The facts of the case are that between 23rd September 2009 and 3rd June 2013 Mr Perry placed 193 bets on snooker with five different online betting
operators. None of these bets involved his own matches, but it did include bets on matches in tournaments Mr Perry competed in.
“The bets in question were relatively small in value to a total of £2,806.49 over the four-year period where he made an overall profit of £832.09. There was one account where the betting could not be quantified due to a lack of data.”
Snooker players are not allowed to place any bets on the sport, whether or not they are directly involved.
The WPBSA statement added: “There is no suggestion whatsoever that Mr Perry was doing anything to influence match outcomes or engaged in any corrupt activity, he was solely betting on snooker.
“He was suspended from playing in WPBSA sanctioned events for a period of three months. This suspension is suspended in full until after the
2018 World Championships. He was ordered to pay a fine of £2,500.”
According to the governing body’s findings, which saw Perry interviewed and evidence examined, the Cambridgeshire professional placed the bets ‘purely out of boredom or distraction’ and has since given up gambling.
Perry reached the Crucible final four in 2008, losing to Ali Carter, and won his biggest title when defeating Mark Williams at the 2015 Players Championship Grand Final in Thailand.