The organizers of this summer’s Olympic Games, due to be held in London, are scheduled to meet up with the heads of the UK top bookmakers and online sportsbooks in a bid to find a way to ensure illegal online sports betting is restricted during the games according to the very latest United Kingdom gambling news.
Although it is by no means illegal under the British gambling laws to bet on sports, and a good portion of the population does so on a regular basis, it is strongly felt by the Olympic Committee that many punters might make under-the-table, black bets with illegal bookies instead and also fears the possibility of the athletes themselves being corrupted into cheating.
The meeting is thought to be the first of its kind and although the Olympic Committee has its concerns, the bookmakers in the United Kingdom aren’t so optimistic that there will be much betting at all on the Olympic Games.
With the vast majority of gamblers almost certain to spend their summer fortunes on the much more popular Euro 2012 football championships taking place in Poland and Ukraine prior to the Olympics, it appears as though football is by far the popular choice to wager on.
It’s conceivable that many online sportsbooks in United Kingdom won’t even offer the possibility to wager on the Olympics at all, with horse racing, Formula One and Wimbledon also all taking place during the same time period.
The meeting however is about more than that, and although its contents have been hushed over and considered secret, one can expect that the meeting will discuss at length the issues of how to find corrupt athletes and monitor illegal betting patterns in sports, something the bookmakers will know all too well about.
The IOC President Jacques Rogge last year commented on corruption in the Olympics by saying that “it is a world problem and it is a very pernicious problem. With the introduction of broadband, you can bet worldwide. The danger is that from illegal betting comes match-fixing and you see more and more attempts to manipulate matches. It is as dangerous as doping for the credibility of sport. It’s only the beginning of a huge battle.”
British Peers and Olympic committee members feel fairly similar on the issue, although again the British bookmakers are continuing to disagree, as they feel any illegal moves will be made on offshore online sportsbooks, far from the centre of the action itself and out of the range of the UK bookmakers jurisdiction.
Asia has recently seen several high profile cases of sports corruption involving illegal gambling, in both China and South Korea for instance.
No matter what is discussed at the meeting, and regardless of how little the audience for the Olympic Games will be, people will still bet on sports, and this congregation of Olympic and gambling bigwigs is destined to attract the attention of athletes and act as a dissuasion even before the games have begun.