Betting agencies call for new sports anti-corruption agency
24.11.2008By Stine Alvad
Betting agencies are calling for a new organisation much like the World Anti-Doping Agency, to be established so that governments and sports federations can cooperate across borders to investigate betting irregularities and put an end to match fixing.
“What you will need in years to come is something like the WADA, an agency that investigates betting-related corruption across all the sports,” said Paul Scotney, head of the British Horseracing Authority’s integrity unit, according to the International Herald Tribune.
Scotney was speaking at a conference hosted by the Early Warning System, the FIFA backed match-fixing tracking system, called Sports betting - mutual dependence and dangers. At the conference betting companies expressed their concerns about the augmenting of irregular betting and match fixing in sport.
Modern, regulated betting regimes required for IOC membership
The betting companies are looking towards FIFA and the IOC to help them convince the national governments that there is a need for international regulation on this area.
“FIFA and the IOC obviously have huge power deciding which countries will receive the next World Cup or Olympic Games,” Norbert Teufelberger, chief executive of online operator Bwin International, says to the IHT. “Our idea would be that only countries with a modern, regulated sports betting regime can be part of that family and organize those events.”
The gaming companies are working towards a legalization of betting which, according to them, would make it possible to track and trace irregular gambling patterns.
“Prohibition drives customers into the black markets,” Teufelberger says according to the IHT, referring to a U.S. ban on online gambling in 2006. “We have respected the rules but we are lobbying to reopen the market.”
New agency meets scepticism
But the international anti-corruption agency is facing obstacles even before its birth as two big Australian sports federations have already expressed scepticism about the new agency.
“As far as an international body overseeing all sports, I think it will be a difficult road to hoe,” spokesman of the Australian National Rugby League, John Brady says to the Daily Telegraph.
And the spokesman of Cricket Australia, Peter Young does not see the need for this kind of agency in cricket. The International Cricket Council has its own Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.
“In our case I think we have a very, very effective global regime that applies specifically to cricket and it’s vigorously supported by all members,” Young stated according to the Daily Mail.
Despite the existence of the anti-corruption unit at the ICC, an estimated 40 billion US dollars were bet illegally on cricket in India in 2007, Indian journalist Murali Krishnan said at Play the Game 2007, showing the scale of the problem facing cricket authorities.