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The Telegraph reported that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that it has signed an information agreement with Betfair who are the largest online casino betting exchange. The cooperation agreement is aimed at thwarting any risk of corruption ahead of the Olympic Games. This is not the first time that Betfair has entered into such information sharing agreements. Betfair has similar agreements with other governing bodies with the same aim to identify suspicious betting patterns of punters that use online casino sites.
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson and IOC Jacques Rogge have voiced their concerns that potential corruption in betting could have a major negative impact in the Olympic Games. The IOC have established a dedicated unit to track and identify any suspicious betting patterns. There have even been amendments to the gambling act which allow the UK watchdog the Gambling Commission to share information with the Lausanne-based global governing body in monitoring online casino betting and gambling.
The Metropolitan Police also have a dedicated unit to monitor the games .Like most of the major bookmakers, Betfair is taking bets on every event that athletes compete for Gold medals. Martin Cruddace, Betfair’s Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer said,” “The interests of sports governing bodies, like the IOC, and Betfair are completely aligned in wanting to ensure consumers can bet on sporting events in a transparent and secure manner. If we are to protect the sports we all love then we must continue to work openly and co-operatively, and today’s agreement is a clear example of just that.”
The main threat for the IOC is not the legal bookmakers but rather the illegal betting markets in Asia. With the huge technological advances and ease of which it is to place online casino bets is a major factor which causes corruption and temptation for both athletes and gamblers.
IOC President Jacques Rogge ,warned last year that corruption associated with online casino betting is a bigger threat to the Olympics than that that of doping. “The danger is that from illegal betting comes match-fixing and you see more and more attempts to manipulate matches. It is as dangerous as doping for the credibility of sport. It’s only the beginning of a huge battle.”
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