More than 200 match fixing cases have been reported to the Gambling Commission over the past four years. Figures revealed by the Daily Star on Sunday suggested that the Commission has investigated 210 cases with the majority involving football, horseracing, cricket, tennis or snooker. The cases were over a period from September 2007 to the same month in 2011 with 135 already “closed” unless further information materalises. The remaining 75 are still being looked at more closely with 43 still in the hands of the Commission. The other 32 have been passed on to the relevant body for the sport involved.
Breaking the “closed” cases down between sports shows rather unsurprisingly the majority are connected to football (40). Horse racing has seen 32 of these with 17 cases reported in tennis. Most were filed away as “the grounds for suspicion of criminal activity have not been substantiated.”
“A criminal case will very often rely on establishing relationships between those involved and following flows of money. As a result it can be both very time consuming and costly,” The Commission added.
The news comes days after Mervyn Westfield became the latest cricketer to be jailed for spot fixing during a match in 2009. 2012 will be one of the most challenging years yet with the Olympics taking place in the UK and it has already led to politicians announcing that an unprecedented monitoring program will be rolled out.
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson has already commented: “You cannot underestimate the threat this poses, because the moment spectators start to feel that what they are seeing is not a true contest, that is when spectators stop turning up.”