Target Spotted: Sports Betting, Criminals' New Apple of the Eye
Sports, from a plain physical activity to a televised entertainment and over the years, have taken part in the gambling industry through sports betting. Sports’ involvement on this activity is not direct though. Basically sports betting can be done anywhe
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According to a report, which is based on a two year research, cricket and soccer enticed the criminals that aim to manipulate the gambling industry. However basketball, tennis, badminton and motocross racing were also affected.
"The rapid evolution of the global sports betting market has seen an increased risk of infiltration by organized crime and money laundering," said Chris Eaton, International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS)’director of sports integrity.
According to the report prepared by the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the ICSS, it is claimed that an alarming 80 percent of the world wide sports betting was being carried out on illegal markets, which is way beyond the regulators and investigators’ control.
Over the years, several soccer leagues have been rigged and three Pakistani cricketers were put behind bars for purposefully bowling no balls during a test match against England at Lord’s last 2010.
It was revealed on the report that, Asia comprised 53 percent of the illegal betting market. The government was urged to make an action against sport corruption and asserts that the existing measures to battle sports rigging are insufficient.
On the same report, it is stated that it is impossible to give the approximate number of illegal operators and expounded that the internet led an “unprecedented expansion” of sports betting opportunities, making it even harder for the authorities to monitor.
The Sorbonne-ICSS report stated that education and prevention are important, and emphasized a number of measures that Government, sports organizations, betting operators and regulators can do to help battle the match rigging and illegal betting.
The imposition of sports betting tax was introduced to generate funds for the investigations, and it is proposed that the players, coaches, and administrators should be prohibited from betting on competitions or matches within their sport.
Another priority that was identified on the report is that sports organizations should improve their governance.
"With reports of match-fixing and corruption now plaguing sport on a daily basis, it is time for key organizations in sport, betting and Government to step forward and work together to eradicate these problems once at for all," said Mohammed Hanzab, President of the ICSS.
The problem is getting worse and worse, if match-fixing is not acted upon and illegal sports betting prevails, sports will be seen as an arena of crime and corruption. The imposition of tax to finance the investigations attempts to eradicate the unethical way of betting. Come to think of it what help can it do if 80 percent of the sports betting are being transacted under the authorities radar? Perhaps, the government should appoint a trusted sports betting agent? Why not?
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