Rigging, Gambling, and Corruption are Growing Concerns for London 2012
This year’s games have seen doping scandal and its control become a top priority for Olympic officials. However, the next big challenge, according to Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, is defeating the illegal gambling, corruption, and event rigging in conjunction with the Olympic Games.
In an effort to curtail such activities, the IOC, Metropolitan Police and UK gambling commission have joined forces to establish a monitoring body. International Sports Monitoring GmbH, a company tied to the IOC, is charged with overseeing the continued legitimate betting practices of licensed UK bookies. Information will be derived from these sources to help identify and squelch illegal gambling trends as they surface.
Rogge draws his concern from illegal gambling rings scattered across Southeast Asia, even though there appears to be little interest from these groups in the Olympic Games.
This will be the first time the Olympics will be held in a country with such a relaxed approach to gambling. Not only that, but the first time all events will be provided with betting odds as well.
Match-fixing and throwing events are not common practices in the Olympics and the issue is not one the committee members are losing sleep over, but it needs to be considered to protect the integrity of the games.
The IOC says it will remain vigilant and report any illegal activity it learns of to the police, but if the committee gets wind some type of corruption during an event, it remains unclear as to how the events in question will proceed. This is a decision the committee understandably hopes to never have to face.