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Australia is Cracking Down on Sports Betting in Wake of Match Fixing Concerns

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
Jun/10/2011
Australia Sports Betting Crackdown

Gambling911.com’s own Greg Tingle is reporting from Down Under that Australia is cracking down on sports betting, perhaps taking a lead from the US.  More so, it’s an effort to address recent match fixing concerns.  Some operators have suggested online poker needs to be reviewed as well. 

Tingle, who runs the Media Man International site and regularly contributes to Gambling911.com, notes that Australia's top 4 online gaming websites: Betfair, Centrebet, Sportsbet and Sportingbet yesterday - Thursday got behind new initiatives to red sport of match-fixing.

The call for reform comes as ministers for sport from the federal, state and territory governments meet on the Gold Coast Friday to address issues of preserving the integrity of sporting events.

Sportingbet Australia chief executive, Michael Sullivan, called yesterday on pro sports under the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports umbrella to employ full-time supervisors to closely examine betting trends. The AFL employs an integrity officer, and the NRL is expected to soon follow their lead.

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The coalition represents the AFL, ARU, NRL, Cricket Australia, FFA, Netball and Tennis.

"The NRL could take a leaf out of the AFL's book on this issue. They seem to be dragging the chain a little," Sullivan told journalists.

"We've seen on the issue arising from the North Queensland investigation that the checks and balances we as an industry already have in place actually do work.

"As for the NRL asking for an industry-wide ban on exotic bets, that's fine, but our figures show that the average bet on the first and last try scorer is just $9.

"That wouldn't buy you a schooner of beer in some pubs in Fremantle.

"Betting on cricket matches in this country isn't a problem. The trouble starts with the sheer weight of money bet on games in India and Pakistan where the industry is either illegal or nowhere near as regulated as you find it here in Australia.”

Poker should not be excluded from regulation, argues Betfair chief executive Andrew Twaits. 

"While it is pleasing to see both the federal and state governments taking the integrity of betting in sports seriously and on a united front, the present legislation is clearly not working when it comes to online poker," Twaits told the press.

"Online sports betting in this country turns over $300 million a year, is highly regulated and we pay our taxes, while operators of online poker sites are not, many of which are controlled and run offshore.

"That's the real challenge facing not just the federal and state governments of this country, but governments across the globe.

"It is estimated that the turnover in this and other forms of illegal betting is $125 billion worldwide. That's why as an industry we welcome any tightening of the present legislation in this country of the Victorian Integrated Gambling Act.

"The sooner the rest of the states and territories fall into line the better it will be for everyone."

- Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com

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