16 May 2014

Report claims crime gangs launder $140 billion through sports betting

12:47 pm on 16 May 2014

A report claims criminals are using sports betting to launder $160 billion each year, exposing a lack of effective regulation that allows match-fixing to spread.

Football and cricket were identified as the sports most threatened by criminals seeking to rig the gambling market but tennis, basketball, motor racing and badminton were also affected, according to the report compiled by the International Centre for Sport Security.

The report says that 80 percent of global sports betting was being carried out on illegal markets, placing it beyond the reach of regulators and investigators.

A number of football leagues have been hit by match-fixing scandals in recent years and three Pakistani cricketers were jailed for a plot to deliberately bowl no balls during a test match against England at Lord's in 2010.

Technology and live television have transformed the sports betting market in recent years, allowing viewers to bet on a wider range of events and gamble in real time as a match progresses.

Among solutions, the report recommended a sports betting tax to finance investigations into match-fixing and closer cooperation between betting companies and sporting bodies.