A recent study reveals that $160 billion are laundered through illegal sports betting activities every year.
It took researchers two years to collect and put together all the necessary information to show just how big New Zealand’s black market gambling is. The study was conducted by the Paris-Sorbonne University and the International Centre for Sport Security. It is estimated that more than 80% of players who bet on sports in New Zealand do it through illegal operators.
Under current New Zealand gambling laws, online gambling is mostly banned, with the exception of a few strictly regulated lotteries and sports betting operations. Foreign websites are not prohibited either, so players can gamble online.
Sports corruption, a delicate issue in New Zealand
With the recent spot- and match-fixing scandals going on in New Zealand, corruption in sports is a very touchy topic. The International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit has received several complaints over cases of illegal betting in cricket. FIFA have also had to tackle a number of allegations of match-rigging.
While former batsmen Lou Vincent admitted to being involved in match-fixing, internationals Chris Cairns and Daryl Tuffey deny having to do anything with it and are currently under investigation.
International Centre for Sport Security representative Chris Eaton told reporters: “Alongside this, the transformation of the nature of betting, with more complex types of betting, such as live betting, which according to this study is the most vulnerable, has made suspect activity even harder to detect.”