The Australian state of Victoria is looking to bolster its fight against match fixing and illegal sports betting. It’s been announced that the state is looking at implementing jail terms for match-fixing to be imposed in Victoria as the first step to nationalise gambling laws to root out corrupt sports betting.
Victorian Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien has made it his mission to introduce the first legislation designed to toughen the penalties around match-fixing. O’Brien also vowed to increase the penalties for offering sports bets on events without the backing of the relevant code’s ruling body.
O’Brien’s pledge was prompted by the release of a review of sports-betting regulation by Racing Victoria’s former chairman of stewards, Des Gleeson.
Gleeson called for mirror legislation across Australia but O’Brien is pushing for a national approach.
According to Maars News, O’Brien feels that if the other states failed to fall in line it could expose all sport, “The amount of money being wagered on sports is increasing at a significant rate (and) if we don’t act soon we will find ourselves in a crisis of integrity.”
Following a briefing by the Australian Crime Commission last month, federal and state sports ministers agreed to implement a new regime to deal with match-fixing and corrupt gambling. The Gillard government has since demanded that sports adopt consistent codes of conduct and meet new anti-graft standards to access federal funding.
As O’Brien’s earlier sentiments eluded to, there is a real concern that some states will move too slowly in following suit, putting a damper on the measures taken by progressive states. Despite this possibility, O’Brien remains steadfast in his approach, saying the state of Victoria would push ahead regardless of the efforts of the other states and with or without the approval of the relevant sports controlling body.