Unregulated Bookmaker with Links to Australia Considered Threat to Sport
A Malaysian unregulated bookmaker, one of the largest in Asia, and an alleged organised crime figure, has been named as a significant threat to the integrity of sport in Australia. Wei Seng “Paul” Phua has been identified by state and federal law enforcement as a concern for sports integrity in the country.
Despite his reputation of criminal association, it has been revealed that Phua is a valued customer and high roller VIP of Crown Melbourne. The casino flew him into Melbourne aboard one of their private jets three weeks ago where he attended the Aussie Million Poker Tournament held at the casino.
There are large black markets for sports betting across Asia where sports are popular, but betting on them is often illegal. It is estimated that in excess of two thirds of all wagers placed on sports are placed via an unregulated bookmaker.
“We know that they’re accepting bets roughly of about $2 billion every week,” stated Neil Paterson, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner. “It’s estimated globally that the unregulated betting markets that operate across all sports are worth between $1 [trillion] and $3 trillion annually.”
However, the police have admitted that they don’t fully understand the parameters of the problem or how big it currently is. They have determined that “this impacts us in Australia, particularly in NSW with regard to a lot of sports and other gambling enterprise, simply by virtue of the Internet and the transnational nature of what’s going on.”
Mr Phua has been identified as a “major player” and has been the subject of FBI investigations. It is unknown why he was in Melbourne for only two days during the most prestigious poker tournament in the country.
April 16, 2017