Betting fraud, not match fixing, is main enemy: expert

Thu May 15, 2014 7:36am EDT
 
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Betting fraud, not match fixing, should be the main target for those fighting for cleaner sport and there must be a global crusade against that South East Asia-dominated threat, according to a leading expert.

Commenting on an International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) report that says criminals are using sports betting to launder $140 billion per year, Sport Integrity director Chris Eaton said the target has to change.

"We have been focusing at least for the last five years on match fixing but we need to shift the focus on the cause which is betting fraud and the fact is almost all betting markets are opaque, not necessarily illegal but they're not properly regulated," Eaton told Reuters.

"Because it happens in secret it's easy for criminals to manipulate sport betting.

"Match fixing is a facilitating crime for sport betting, not the reverse, so the important causing crime here is betting fraud," said Eaton in an interview at the Sorbonne University where a Sport Integrity Forum was being held on Thursday.

On Thursday, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported anti-corruption forces were investigating evidence of widespread fixing in the world of cricket including domestic English matches.

Soccer and cricket were identified by the ICSS report as the sports most hit by betting fraud.

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FIFA head of security Chris Eaton speaks during a news conference at the Salvadoran football federation in San Salvador July 7, 2011.  REUTERS/Luis Galdamez