Sporting codes 'need integrity officers' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sporting codes 'need integrity officers'

By Wayne Heming 07/09/2010 06:56:41 PM Comments (0)

A prominent betting expert has called on the major sports in Australia to each appoint a specialist to oversee gambling.

The head of Sportingbet, Michael Sullivan, said the amount of money being gambled in Australia coupled with sporting bodies often having a professional relationship with the betting agencies, necessitated the move.

"Not just Sportingbet but all the major operators have got relationships with the NRL so it's probably time to appoint an integrity officer because betting in this country is incredibly transparent," Sullivan told AAP on Tuesday.

"The cricket betting is underground with Indian bookmakers who turn over billions of dollars with absolutely no transparency whereas here it's regulated, transparent and taxed.

"It's not just the NRL - the AFL, Cricket Australia and Tennis Australia have to embrace the idea (of a betting expert) and go to the next level because there's no doubt our turnover is starting to be very significant in both codes."

Sullivan's comments came after reports on Tuesday suggested investigations into a suspicious plunge on an unusual exotic betting option in a rugby league match between the Bulldogs and Cowboys could be extended to include six NRL games.

A far bigger scandal is ongoing over an illegal betting plunge in cricket, with three Pakistani players suspended following a spot-fixing scandal over bowling no balls in the fourth Test against England.

More than 80 cricket matches will be looked into as part of a broader investigation.

Gerard Daffy, who heads up sports betting agency Sportsalive, said Australia was the best regulated betting country in the world.

"Several other countries are copying our model of information sharing and knowing your client," said Daffy.

New clients opening accounts must pass a 100-point security check.

"It's the same as opening a bank account," he said.

"We have that information, the industry regulators have it, AUSTRAC (anti money laundering group) have it and as we're finding out now, the police have it."

Daffy said you couldn't just pick up the yellow pages in India and look up a bookmaker because they were illegal.

"If you can believe the stories there's over $100 million a day bet illegally in Mumbai alone," he said.

"John the bookie operates in a shed in Mumbai. The law says he doesn't exist but he holds a million dollars a day."

Daffy estimated illegal Mumbai bookies turned over in one day what Australian bookies combined held in a year on cricket.

They offer punters hundreds of betting options including the toss, minutes lost through rain, which end the umpires would stand and how many players would be wearing sunglasses.

Bookmakers contacted by AAP on Tuesday said they'd co-operated fully with the current NRL betting probe, handing over relevant betting sheets on the Bulldogs-Cowboys game.

None had been asked for any more details on any other NRL games.

St George Illawarra coach Wayne Bennett said it was time to stop the exotic bets on sports.

"It is an issue for the game, there's no doubt about that," he told Channel Ten.

"They've just got to stop the multiple (betting options). There's just too many variables that can be manipulated too easily. I'd like to think we're all honest people, but that's not the case."

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