Australian gambling companies accused of offering bets on underage sports matches

National Children's Commissioner calls for a ban on gambling on sporting events involving underage participants.
National Children's Commissioner calls for a ban on gambling on sporting events involving underage participants.

An investigation has revealed Sportsbet, TAB and bet365 had been offering bets on the Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.

Australia.- An investigation carried out by ABC revealed that three of Australia’s largest gambling companies offer bets on international cricket matches where underages play.

The news reached the ears of the country’s National Children’s Commissioner, Anne Hollands, who called for laws to ban betting on sporting events involving underage participants.

The companies implicated in the case are Sportsbet, TAB and bet365 which offered bets on the U-19 T20 Women’s World Cup that is taking place this month in South Africa.

Sportsbet declined to answer ABC’s questions but issued a statement saying it “does not provide betting markets for under-18 competitions or events.”

TAB and bet365, which is a sponsor of Cricket Australia, did not respond to requests for comment.

Although no evidence has been detected so far that any player in the tournament has been involved in match-fixing, specialists affirmed that this type of practice could be detrimental to young athletes.

See also: Australian PM rejects a nationwide gambling reform

University of Canberra sports integrity specialist Catherine Ordway said: “The combination of in-play betting and young people raises red flags immediately.

“We’ve seen grooming techniques used by match-fixers who target vulnerable people and try to convince them to throw matches or drop points to deliver a gambling benefit.”

She then added: “Young players often don’t have the knowledge or life experience to appreciate that what might seem like an innocent compliment on social media might be part of a bigger plan to start grooming them for match-fixing.”

AUSTRAC to investigate Sportsbet and Bet365 over suspected AML failings

As previously revealed by Focus Gaming News, last November, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) announced that it commenced an enforcement investigation into Sportsbet and Bet365 on suspicions they failed to comply with anti-money laundering laws.

External auditors will be authorised to assess Sportsbet’s and Bet365’s compliance with the AML/CTF Act and Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No. 1) (AML/CTF Rules). 

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