Gambling expert moots WADA-style anti-corruption unit
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Charles Livingstone, an Australia-based gambling expert, has called for an international anti-corruption unit to monitor athletes, much like the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that monitors illegal drug-taking by athletes.
He said he hopes the US entry into live sports betting might help his efforts for an international anti-corruption unit to monitor athletes.
Charles Livingstone is the head of the gambling and social determinants unit at Melbourne’s Monash University. He has been calling for several years the formation of the monitoring agency for potential corruption among athletes.
“Now that the United States is going to allow gambling on sporting events, I’m hoping it might become a real possibility,” Livingstone said.
A US Supreme Court decision last week clearing the way for states to legalise sports betting came 10 years after Australia’s highest court did similar to allow more widespread betting on sporting events Down Under.
After a gambling agency challenged existing laws, a 2008 Australian High Court decision removed restrictions preventing bookmakers licensed in one jurisdiction from advertising in another. This change prompted the entry of international corporate bookmakers into the Australian sports market to capitalise on the country’s penchant for both gambling and sport.
It has spurred a whole range of new betting options, including some on minute detail.
Livingstone said one way to reduce the potential for corruption among athletes would be to stop so-called “spot betting” where gamblers can bet on such things as how the first points in a game might be scored, or when the first double-fault might occur in a tennis match.
Australian rugby league player Ryan Tandy was convicted of trying to manipulate the first score of a 2010 National Rugby League match and a former Australian Open junior champion was banned for seven years for purposely losing the first set of a match at a low-level tournament.
“Ban spot-betting,” Livingstone says bluntly. “There is enormous potential for corruption. It’s a small step from there to starting to throw games.” He says a WADA-style agency monitoring corruption could also help educate athletes, as the anti-doping agency does.
Government figures show that 80 percent of Australians gamble, the highest percentage of any country (Singapore is second, Ireland third) although that figure includes those who might bet once a year on a horse race or play the lottery. More than a billion Australian dollars ($758 million) is spent each year on live sports gambling in the country.
Source: European Gaming Industry News