Sports controlling bodies (SCBs) and Australian
wagering operators share a mutual interest in protecting the
integrity of Australian sport. This was one of the central messages
to emerge from a sports integrity forum hosted by law firm Addisons
late in 2012.
This message is particularly important given that the integrity
of Australian sport was recently thrust into the limelight as a
result of significant adverse publicity concerning doping,
including investigations by various codes and the Australian Crime
Media comments relating to these investigations suggest that
Australian sports are at risk of match-fixing attempts,
particularly from overseas betting interests.
Addisons' integrity forum was attended by representatives of
the AFL, ARU, Cricket Australia, FFA, NRL, Tennis Australia, the
National Integrity of Sport Unit, NSW Sport and Recreation, as well
as Australian wagering operators.
The forum identified that the key to protecting the integrity of
sport are strong working relationships between SCBs and wagering
operators, which, in turn, facilitate the constant exchange of
information between these bodies. However, most importantly, these
relationships are only likely to be effective to the extent that
betting activities in connection with Australian sports are
conducted through Australian licensed wagering operators.
The exchange of information currently takes place only between
Australian licensed wagering operators and SCBs. Product fee and
integrity agreements are not entered into by offshore betting
interests, and it is fair to say that many of these interests have
limited concern about the protection of the integrity of Australian
Other issues examined during the forum include:
The advantage of betting with Australian licensed operators
(and the importance of ensuring that these operators can compete
effectively against their offshore counterparts)
The identification of suspicious betting patterns
Fair returns to sports from wagering
The need for education programmes aimed at sports
After receiving positive feedback from the attendees, Addisons
will reconvene the forum in 2013 to provide SCBs, wagering
operators and other interested parties further opportunities to
consolidate the necessarily close working relationships to ensure
the integrity of sport. Particularly in light of the developments
in Australian sport this week, these relationships are critical in
strengthening the credibility of Australian sport.
The assistance of Jessica Azzi, Solicitor, of Addisons in
the preparation of this article is noted and greatly
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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