Betting on amateur sports worries Australia

Australia worried about betting on amateur sports.


Sports betting in suburban, amateur games around Australia have raised concerns over match fixing and the authorities are looking into it.

Australia.- After a Background Briefing investigation revealed that international gambling companies are purchasing play-by-play data to facilitate live betting on local and amateur sports around Australia. Sportradar, a match fixing-monitor company for FIFA, is using a low-profile subsidiary (Real Time Sportscasts) to collect the live data from amateur, semi-pro and low-level sports.

The company is hiring university students as scouts through job boards and it gets them to feed data into a call centre, where it is distributed to international gambling websites. As reported by Radio Australia, there is concern that the use of the data by those international gambling organisations may lead others to encourage match fixing on local Australian games.

The administrator for Tasmania’s Southern Basketball League Scott Boucher told Radio Australia that players were shocked when they realised odds on their games were available around the world. “They don’t believe that someone would come along just to set up gambling on their games,” he said.

Of course, concerns over unlawful performances by the amateur athletes raised immediatly: “I could see people backing themselves to lose when the odds were right, or not turning up to play, other people outside getting involved and coercing people to throw matches,” he added.

Senator Nick Xenophon is pushing for a change in gambling laws to avoid corruption in minor leagues: “We can’t let our amateur sporting codes, our amateur games, be infected with gambling in this way,” he said.

He also showed his concern over potential involvement of children: “It wouldn’t surprise me if they decide to target an under-10 footy team somewhere in the country sooner rather than later, because right now, there are no checks, no controls, on the way these jokers operate,” Sen. Xenophon explained.

The politician is also worried about a memorandum of understanding signed by Sportradar and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 2015: “We need to see that memorandum of understanding. If the AFP won’t provide that willingly, then there is a mechanism through the Senate to have an order for production of documents, and that’s something I’ll be putting up,” he says.

He also imagines Sportradar “having a daily chuckle over the fact that they’ve managed to co-opt the Australian Federal Police,” to allow them to do their business.