Australia in the News — Weekly Round-up for June 23, 2017

Storm Brewing On Data Collection At Aussie Amateur Sports Events

Local, amateur sports fraternity “shocked” betting markets offered on their matches

ABC Radio National’s Background Briefing investigative program has highlighted the recruitment of student data scouts for local and amateur sports events in Australia.

The programme identifies Sportradar subsidiary Real Time Sportscasts as recruiting students through university job boards to attend local sporting competitions and feed play-by-play data back to a central call centre which supports betting markets offered by offshore gambling operators.

The practice, Background Briefing Journalist Jack Kerr opines, raises concerns on the potential for match-fixing on local and amateur sports.

Kerr reports the amateur sporting fraternity as being “shocked” and unaware that International betting markets were available on their games.

“I could see people backing themselves to lose when the odds were right, or not turning up to play, other people outside getting involved and coercing people to throw matches,” Scott Boucher, Tasmania Southern Basketball League administrator, told Kerr.

“Wherever money’s involved, there’s always someone with an extra interest.”

Gambling antagonist, Senator Nick Xenophon, vowed to tighten up existing laws, telling Background Briefing:  “The potential for corrupting those sporting codes, the potential for compromising players and officials is just too great. We can’t let our amateur sporting codes, our amateur games, be infected with gambling in this way.”

In Xenophon’s inimitable style, went on to say: “I mean, it seems that these people have no shame. It wouldn’t surprise me if they decide to target an under-10 footy team somewhere in the country sooner rather than later, because right now, there are no checks, no controls, on the way these jokers operate.”

Defending the company’s position, Sportradar managing director of strategy and integrity, Andreas Krannich told Kerr, the firm was responding to a market, not generating a market.  Operating a centralized data scouting service, fed to bookmakers through controlled scouts, ensures a transparent process that prevents “dodgy” people attending events, he said.

Xenophon is calling on the Australian Federal Police to produce the Memorandum of Understanding it has with Sportradar, saying: ”We need to see that memorandum of understanding. If the AFP won’t provide that willingly, then there is a mechanism through the Senate to have an order for production of documents, and that’s something I’ll be putting up.”

The article in its entirety can be read here: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-06-16/online-gambling-industry-using-data-scouts-to-target-suburban-sports/1679138

Tab Promo Lands Operator In Hot Water

Free giveaway fails to include responsible gambling information

Australian operator TAB landed in hot water for breaching gambling advertising regulations when it distributed free packets of jelly beans and mints without including Responsible Gambling information.

The sweets, which were given to commuters in Sydney’s Town Hall and Martin Place train stations, were picked up by Green’s Party politician, Justin Field, who laid a complaint.

Liquor and Gaming NSW’s subsequent investigation led to the TAB pleading guilty on two counts of breaching regulations and agreeing to pay Liquor and Gaming NSW’s legal costs of $10,000.  A further penalty will be decided by the courts.

“The penalty of a $5000 fine is a slap on the wrist for a big gambling organisation like the TAB who make huge profits from our community,” Field said in response to the Sydney Morning Herald report.