The NSW Government has introduced legislation to Parliament to combat match fixing in sport, Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality and Racing, George Souris and Minister for Sport and Recreation, Gabrielle Upton, announced today.
Mr Souris said the legislation, known as the Racing Administration Amendment (Sports Betting National Operational Model) Bill 2014, provides a framework for betting agencies to enter into integrity agreements with sports controlling bodies.
This will also let the Government determine which sporting bodies are appropriate for wagering activity. It will allow for increased scrutiny of betting on sports that may not be considered professional.
Approved controlling bodies will now be given the power to choose the types of bets that are available for their sport.
A betting agency breaching the legislation will receive a fine of up to $11,000. An individual who breaches the legislation will receive a $5,500 fine or 12 months imprisonment or both.
“Australians expect the sports they watch or in which they participate to be played fairly and honestly and the NSW Government is committed to doing everything it can to ensure sport is free of the threat of match fixing and corruption,” Mr Souris said.
“The legislation will support a national model which underpins the National Policy on Match Fixing in Sport which was agreed to by all Sports Ministers in 2011.
“These agreements will include integrity measures used to prevent, investigate and assist in the prosecution of match fixing or corrupt behaviour; provide financial returns to the sports involved and include information sharing arrangements and a consultation process for new sporting events and bet types.
“Sports controlling bodies will also have a right to veto betting on their sport if it is deemed in the public interest.”
Mr Souris pointed out that in September, 2012, the Government introduced the first legislation of its type in Australia outlawing match fixing with penalties of up to 10 years jail for offenders.
“That legislation created offences for any person who intentionally fixes or attempts to fix the outcome of a sporting event,” Mr Souris said.
Ms Upton said eliminating all forms of match fixing was a huge challenge.
“This Bill will establish a framework to strengthen the capacity of sporting bodies to recognise and manage integrity risks associated with the betting that takes place on their sport,” Ms Upton said.
“It also enables sporting bodies to receive a share of the revenues that accrue from approved betting, recognising the value of their sporting products.
“The new system will help strengthen public confidence in the integrity of sports and the betting that occurs on events.
“This Bill is an example of the NSW Government’s commitment to promoting integrity in sport and the regulation of associated sports betting. Sport has long been regarded as integral to the Australian way of life.
“Australians are entitled to expect that sporting contests are played honestly and to the ideals of fair play and good sportsmanship.”