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Canberra declared match-fixing as a criminal offence

match fixingThe Legislative Assembly for the self-governing Australian Capital Territory introduced legislation last week that makes it a criminal offence to fix a sporting event or use such information or insider knowledge for betting purposes.

According to a report from The Canberra Times newspaper, the Criminal Code (Cheating at Gambling) Amendment Bill 2013 outlaws intentionally corrupting the result of a sporting event for the purposes of receiving a benefit in addition to placing wagers in the knowledge that any outcome has been corrupted.

The new legislation aligns the internal territory’s match-fixing legislation with regulations already in place in the neighbouring state of New South Wales along with laws in South Australia and Victoria and follows a complaint from a Canberra soccer club that bet365.com was offering odds on National Premier League matches involving amateur teams. The online bookmaker has since ceased providing state football competition markets although rival Sportsbet.co.au offers betting on competitions involving teams in the Australian rules football North-East Australian Football League.

“Risks to integrity in our sport and racing sectors from organised crime and gambling cheats are a major concern to the Australian Capital Territory government,” said Simon Corbell, Attorney-General for the Australian Capital Territory.

“These new offences are important because of the growth of sportsbetting as a major industry in Australia.”

The Australian Capital Territory Football Federation Incorporated soccer regulator stated that it issued a statement via its website in April reminding participants of clause four of the Football Federation of Australia’s code of conduct dealing with betting, match-fixing and corruption.

“Canberra's elite teams have recently re-affirmed with me their commitment to maintaining integrity in sport,” said Andrew Barr, Sports Minister for the Australian Capital Territory.

“They have in place existing mechanisms to mitigate potential integrity breaches as well as processes to address these should they arise. There is no doubt sportsbetting is growing with gambling on sports increasingly prevalent at all levels of our sporting system.”

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