On 26 August 2011, the NSW Law Reform Commission (NSWLRC) released its report into Cheating at Gambling.1
The central recommendation of the report is that a new part be added to the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which would provide for offences relating to cheating in connection with sport. The offences are structured to capture persons who cheat, those who enter into agreements to cheat and those who conceal cheating. In particular, the offences will address recent concerns that have arisen through players and others associated with sport obtaining a financial advantage through wagering activity.
A draft bill to amend the Crimes Act is set out in Appendix A of the report.
In addition to this central recommendation, NSWLRC also recommends that there should be:
- a review of the existing cheating offences for gaming;
- a review of the gambling legislation in NSW to reform laws and make them more consistent (possibly by adopting an omnibus piece of gambling legislation similar to Victoria); and
- consideration given to the creation of a single gambling authority (rather than having the tasks divided as they are at present).
The recommendations of the NSWLRC to create new cheating offences in relation to sport are being reviewed by various governmental authorities throughout Australia. We anticipate that new offences will be introduced in Australian criminal legislation within the next 6 – 12 months.
1 The report is available from http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/lrc/ll_lrc.nsf/pages/LRC_r130toc.
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