Australia’s largest sports bodies have united in an effort to stamp out corruption in all of the country’s national and amateur sports leagues. The main targets of the new cleansweep operation are match fixing and illegal internet betting in Australia.
The organizations participating in the drive to preserve sports integrity include The National Rugby League, the Australian Football League, Cricket Australia and the Australian Rugby Union. It has been proposed that the groups come together to form a gambling commission designed to investigate illegal online betting in order to stamp it out completely.
The biggest problem areas are what they are calling “exotic wagering on micro outcomes”. A recent strategy of online sportsbooks in Australia is to offer lines on every aspect of the game, giving punters more ways to bet on a single match. Also under scrutiny is in-play betting, which allows bettors to place wagers on games interactively, betting on different aspects of a match as the action takes place.
While honest punters find in-play betting exciting, it can also be problematic. This micro-betting re-defines the idea of “match fixing” by letting corrupt players force actions on a much smaller scale. Instead of throwing whole games, they can be much more subtle with how they fix their actions in an attempt to win money betting online.
Malcolm Speed, Executive director for the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, says the ultimate goal is to “make professional sport in Australia bullet proof, or as close to it as possible, from corruption”.
Australian gambling laws clearly state that online sports betting in Australia is legal. The goal here is not to stamp it out, but to tighten control over the industry, making it more difficult for sports corruption to emerge.