28th of February 2010 Author: Johnny Karp
Betting exchange demonstrates yet again that it can be a powerful ally in the fight against sports corruption
Australian newspapers are reporting another example of how the online betting industry can help fight corruption in sport through superior record keeping and bet tracking.
Online betting exchange Betfair has once again collaborated voluntarily with authorities in reporting suspicious betting patterns, this time in horse racing activities; the report has been taken seriously by Racing Victoria, which launched an investigatory probe into jockey Dan Nikolic.
Apparently Betfair's customer integrity system alerted stewards to suspicious betting activity on Finishing Card when beaten as a A$1.60 favourite at Mornington on January 8, sparking the investigation into Nikolic. Investigators were questioning some of the biggest names in racing as the investigation continued this week, with several trainers asked to give evidence at Racing Victoria's headquarters.
It is understood that the original enquiry has now widened to embrace a total of nine races dating back as far as November last (2009) year.
Running parallel with the Racing Victoria probe, Betfair is holding a concurrent internal investigation into betting activity on the races in question.
''We can supply named information of punters to stewards and it gives a level of transparency to them they have not had before,'' Betfair's Hugh Taggart said. ''We monitor our betting operation seven days a week and provide information to any sports we bet on when we think it is necessary.
''It is a two-way street with the stewards and we will help them with any information where we can.''
Betfair's security process can analyse punters' betting patterns and raise red flags if they start laying horses for large amounts rather than backing them. It is believed the patterns in betting by about half a dozen Betfair accounts have caused concern and it is the pattern rather than the size of matched bets that raised suspicion.
Nikolic maintains he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
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