01/12/2012 : ONLINE BETTING EXCHANGE WILL COLLABORATE TO DEFEAT OLYMPICS CORRUPTION
Betfair and the International Olympic Committee agree to partner in fighting betting corruption
Online betting exchange Betfair has agreed a deal to share information with the International Olympic Committee during the London 2012 Games, according to a BBC report.
The agreement involves the exchange of data about irregular or suspicious betting patterns, and gives the IOC the right to request the identities of account holders who bet suspiciously, as well as other betting transaction details.
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson warned this month about the threat illegal gambling rings could pose to the games, saying that the threat of betting corruption was worse than doping problems.
"You cannot underestimate the threat this poses, because the moment that spectators start to feel that what they are seeing is not a true contest, that is when spectators stop turning up and the whole thing turns to pieces," the minister said.
The IOC is also working with the UK Gambling Commission and the police to tackle illegal betting syndicates during the Games.
Betfair, which signed a similar memorandum of understanding with the IOC in Beijing four years ago, said London 2012 would be its biggest Games to date, in which it would be offering markets on every gold medal event.
The world's biggest betting exchange will use technology and its team of integrity experts to ensure that any suspicious betting activity is investigated and information passed to the IOC, a spokesman revealed. Specialised software developed by the firm helps identify potentially suspicious transactions.
"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," said Martin Cruddace, Betfair's chief legal and regulatory affairs officer.