British Man Charged with Illegal Courtside Betting at Australian Open
Earlier this week a man from Britain was arrested and charged with illegal courtside betting at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The 22-year-old is allegedly part of an Eastern European crime syndicate that targets international sports events.Graham Ashton, the Victorian deputy police commissioner, said that the man was charged with one count of “engaging in conduct that would corrupt a betting outcome”; he was later bailed to appear before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court later this week.
Ashton explained that the man could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
Furthermore, he believes that it is the first time in the world that someone has been charged for courtside gambling.
The offense “Courtsiding” involves placing a person at a sports event who then relays match details to another individual, usually abroad, to place bets. This way the system can take advantage of the time-lag, usually just a few seconds, between play and live international broadcasts on TV.
An official from Tennis Australia, Ann West, said, “Tennis Australia applaud the work of Victoria Police and will continue to cooperate as much as possible in a proactive fashion to remove any illegal activity from our sport. We have arrangements in place with Victoria Police regarding security and sharing of intelligence. We will continue to do whatever is necessary.”