Australia to jail match fixers

Picture only for illustrative purpose only.(REUTERS)

Australia on Friday said it was looking to introduce national laws that would allow for heavy jail terms for match-fixing, as it seeks to stamp out the risk of corruption in sporting contests.

Sports Minister Mark Arbib will meet with officials next week to discuss the possibility of introducing laws for those manipulating the outcome of sporting events for gain.

"We know from looking at the international experience, the threat that match fixing has on our sports," Arbib told ABC Radio.

"We want to make sure that we do everything possible to send a message to those people who want to be involved in match fixing that there will be jail time, and it won't be a light punishment."

Arbib said the government was also looking at a code of conduct for all sports so players, coaches and officials were clear on what was allowed in terms of betting.

The National Rugby League (NRL), which has been troubled by a betting scandal still before the courts in which a former player has been charged with attempting to dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, Thursday banned the live updating of odds during games.

It has also banned bookmakers from taking bets on certain "exotic" options, such as whether there will be a field goal kicked during a match.

"They've been looking at the areas of their sport which could be corrupted and they took strong action," Arbib said of the NRL.

The minister said he was committed to protecting the integrity of sport.

"Because once illegal gambling and match fixing takes hold then people start doubting sporting results at every level and that threatens the integrity of sport," he said.

"If people lose confidence in their sport and their matches then people will stop going to games, will start turning off the TV and that will threaten their sport in the long run."

 

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