Hong Kong Jockey Club Wades into Australian Online Betting Debate
The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has made a submission to the Australian government to be included in its report into online betting. In it, the HKJC has slammed Asian bookmakers claiming they threaten Australian sports and racing integrity.
The review, led by former NSW premier, Barry O’Farrell, has been high on the agenda of online and land-based sports betting companies as it will discuss the current policy on online betting and in particular, the prohibition of online in-play sports betting.
Entitled ‘Illegal Betting Markets and Links with Organised Crime’, the submission names several Asian betting companies, many of which allow punters to wager anonymously, reducing the chance that their bets will become part of any police or sports integrity investigation. The submission claims that SBOBET and CITIbet recorded 40,000 visits from Australian IP addresses in the six months to September 2015.
It claims that CITIbet’s Australian racing operations accounts for approximately $930 million or 8 percent of the total amount wagered with tote operators licensed in Australia. SBOBET accepts wagers on Australian racing, A-League soccer and the movement of the Australian dollar against other currencies.
The HKJC also alleges that “SBOBET and IBC is linked, opaque and suspected to involve multiple Asian illegal bookmakers” and that they may have links to the triad.
“Racing is facing a massive revenue threat from the Asian illegal bookmakers, but their links with transnational crime syndicates means the integrity danger cannot be overlooked,” a senior racing official claimed in an interview with The Australian newspaper.
“The experience around the world is that they don’t attempt to match-fix or corrupt sporting events at the elite level, so consequently, Randwick or Flemington would never be on their radar. However, we have to be vigilant in lower-level contests, as does every other sporting code.”
April 16, 2017