The senator who called for a ban on election betting less than two weeks ago is now urging the temporary prohibition of all the betting on sports in Australia.
Sen. Nick Xenophon (I) made his remarks after a thorough investigation by the Australian Crime Commission uncovered troubling levels of doping and the involvement of organized crime in the country’s sports life.
The ACC report released today shows that a number of illegal drugs have been used by athletes across a broad spectrum of sports. This was often done with full support from club officials, who “have also been identified as administering, via injections and intravenous drips, a variety of substances.”
Furthermore, the Commission has found enough evidence to declare that “organised crime has a tangible and expanding role in the provision of prohibited substances to professional athletes, and this is facilitated by some coaches and support staff.”
The part of the report, which caused Sen. Xenophon to appear in Australian gambling news again, was the ACC statement about “personal relationships of concern between professional athletes” and organized crime, which “may have resulted in match fixing and the fraudulent manipulation of betting markets.”
As a consequence of these findings the senator said no sports betting should be allowed until the ACC recommendations concerning Australian gambling laws (and their practical application) are implemented.
“These extraordinary findings require an urgent response to protect the integrity of sporting codes that millions of Australians love,” said Sen. Xenophon, adding that “a necessary first step is to suspend all sports betting until the matters raised by the ACC have been comprehensively addressed.”
Meanwhile, as a first measure to rectify the situation, the Senate quickly voted to begin an inquiry into the impact of gambling on sport.