The International Olympic Committee (IOC) takes the Olympics very seriously, and because of this, has very strong feelings about illegal betting on the Olympic Games. In preparation for the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London and the Winter Youth Games in the Austrian city of Innsbruk, the IOC has created a new firm, International Sports Monitoring (ISM), to monitor internet betting in the United Kingdom and abroad for signs of illegal sports betting activity.
“One day there will be match fixing in the Olympic Games,” says IOC president Jacques Rogge. “That is why we built a company which has already monitored the Beijing and Vancouver games.”
The function of the ISM is to monitor sports bets and the flow of funds through online sportsbooks in the UK and across Europe. If spikes in activity are detected for particular matches or events, the IOC is notified, and an investigation will begin.
The system has been in operation for years, and this new development simply formalizes it as its own firm. Along with the creation of the ISM, the IOC also established new rules about how offenders should be punished.
World sports are not without corruption. Doping among Olympic athletes has been on the rise for many years, and there have been several incidents of medalists losing their award after being accused of cheating. Football and cricket match fixing are problems all over the world, and as it becomes easier to bet on sports in the UK and across the EU through internet sportsbooks, it becomes harder and harder to track betting activity.
“There is some irregular betting in every nations; some more than others but no one is free of it,” said Rogge. With cooperation from major sports betting agencies, the IOC hopes to stop irregular betting and match fixing in Olympic games before it starts.