Aussie Police Bust Tennis Courtside Scammer

Good intel from Tennis Australia aids Police in making arrest

According to British and Australian media reports, a 22-year-old unnamed Briton is alleged to have been courtside gambling at the Australian Open Tournament.

Melbourne Police believe the man, who flew into Melbourne specifically for the Grand Slam event, is part of a larger gambling syndicate saying they will continue to investigate and track down his accomplices.

The accused is alleged to have been sending messages to an associate from an electric device sewn into his clothes to take advantage of the 7-10 second TV delay when placing TV odds bets.

He will appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court tomorrow (Thursday) to face a charge of engaging in conduct that would corrupt a betting outcome. The maximum penalty is up to 10 years in prison.

"It’s certainly the first time it's been used in tennis in Victoria and I’m not aware of an example anywhere in the world where courtsiding has been able to be dealt with in a criminal setting," said Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton.

Ashton praised the work Tennis Australia had done in terms of intelligence around courtsiding saying the Police had intelligence prior to the accused attending the event. "We knew we had a threat in existence, and we were then able to identify the individual through the course of monitoring things like CCTV."

"As we’ve seen in terms of overseas trends, courtsiding is only one step away from contacting players and getting engaged in more illicit and more sinister types of sports betting," concluded Ashton.

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