9th of February 2013 Author: Johnny Karp
The Australian national police warned of significant match-fixing risks due to large Asian betting pools, citing A$40 million in wagers on one local soccer match alone.
In addition to that, the Australian Crime Commission said that organised crime had a growing influence over Australian sport since the widespread use of drugs increased the risks of match-fixing.
The ACC has also revealed that one, as yet unidentified match, is already under investigation which pushed the officials from the Australian Rules football organisation and the Football Federation of Australia to immediately issue statements saying that to the best of their knowledge no underway investigations involve their sports.
However, the FFA confirmed it was trying to identify the 2012 soccer match alleged by police which at the time attracted the $40 million Asian in bets.
Police in the state of Victoria said that the increasingly large bets from Asia have increased the risks of soccer match-fixing in Australia's A-League.
Police Assistant Commissioner Graham Ashton explained the situation: "We had over A$40 million just with one Asian bookmaker alone, one of the legal bookmakers, on one A-League match here in Victoria. Certainly we think soccer is a big risk, cricket is another, and then tennis."
"When this betting is occurring to that level it becomes attractive for crime figures to want to get involved to fix matches. It is really a significant risk factor when you see these pools build up to that extent."
Furthermore, Ashton said that the biggest risk was on spot fixing, where gamblers can bet on incidents during a game, rather than fixing the results of an entire game.
Sportsbet and Tattsbet bookmakers suspended betting on Australian rules team Essendon, involved in a scandal over players taking potentially illicit performance supplements. Consequently, the club has asked the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority to investigate the supplements given to players last season.
Anti-gambling politicians could not miss the opportunity to urge the ban on sports betting or at least suspension until the outcome of a thorough enquiry.
What is more, police in Europe earlier this week exposed a global football betting scam with some 680 suspicious matches, including qualifying games for the World Cup and European Championships, and the Champions League.
Obviously inevitable a Singapore-based syndicate was involved in the scandal - it had directed match-fixing for at least 380 soccer games in Europe alone, making at least Euro 8 million.
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