Sports Industry Calls for Veto on Sport Betting
Sports bosses in Australia are hoping to witness increased penalties for offenders found guilty of betting related corruption. Representatives of some of the most popular sports in Australia have been calling for a veto on selected types of sport betting, it emerged this month.
Leading bosses have been fighting for an end to the activity which they claim is particularly susceptible to corruption. Recommendations for change were outlined in an Anti-Corruption Working Paper endorsed by the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) earlier this week. The state sports ministers are due to convene this Friday and will consider proposals to raise penalties for abuses in the sector. The Federal Sports Minister, Mark Arbib, has also backed the call for action from organisations which include the NRL, AFL and Cricket Australia.
Commenting on the move, Arbib said that it was essential to address the growing problem sooner rather than later. “There must be national consistent laws in relation to criminality”, he said before urging sports and betting agencies to forge “integrity agreements” to root out improper activity. He went on to allude to the importance of regulation in the continued growth of an industry valued at $2.8 billion just some three years ago.
High profile sports personalities, meanwhile, have also spoken out in support of the legislation which could pave the way for lengthier jail sentences for convicted offenders. James Sutherland, Cricket Australia Chief, said that the slightest indication of misconduct was enough to “undermine a sport’s public credibility”. Alluding to the recommendations outlined in the working party paper, Sutherland said that it was essential to “preserve the integrity of Australian sport” by stamping out corruption for good.