The World Snooker Championships start in earnest on April 16th and to prevent a repeat of last year’s problems when John Higgins was accused of losing frames for cash, Barry Hearn is in the gambling news for warning all players that they face lifetime bans if caught gambling. John Higgins who was caught up in a newspaper sting operation said he acted out of fear and intimidation and was subsequently cleared but he did serve a six month suspension and was fined £75000 for bringing the game into disrepute. Chairman of World Snooker Mr Hearn explained that in the past possibly not enough education had been given to the players but that was now not the case and any subsequent gambling on snooker by the players would mean a life ban or his own words “All the things you built up, all the things that have been given to you are going to be lost once and for all”. Mr Hearn was speaking at the draw for this year’s Championship and said that despite the problems of last year he felt the sport was stronger because of it, “In reality, you have to consider nightmare scenarios every day of your life, whether it’s a security issue, whether it’s an integrity issue”. One thing we can be sure about is that with a new “Integrity Unit” in place every game and every match will be watched in every detail which makes it a better place for snooker gambling by the general public. Many of the games will be on television and any of the sports gambling operators which we recommend will start revealing odds very soon. Here at gambling.ie we shall probably do a review for you nearer the time.