03/03/2012 : OLYMPIC ANTI-CORRUPTION MEASURES TO BE TIGHTENED
2012's premier sporting event takes precautions against betting corruption
Olympic organisers will meet land and online betting industry representatives this month to finalise measures to prevent illegal gambling at London 2012, reports the Reuters news agency.
Among the anti-corruption measures being planned is a drop-in zone in the Olympic Village to offer advice to athletes during the Games.
British online betting company Betfair, which operates the world's largest betting exchange, has agreed to share information with the IOC on potentially suspect gambling at this year's Olympics.
London organisers will meet representatives of the IOC, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, the Gambling Commission and betting companies on March 20, a Betfair executive told Reuters Friday.
"The idea is to make sure that we all know who we are, the system of contact during the Olympics and what will happen if there are any issues. Ninety percent of the ground work is already there," Betfair's public affairs manager Susannah Gill told the news agency.
Betting is prohibited for athletes taking part in the Games under a code of ethics running for a month from the opening of the Olympic Village on July 16. The ban also applies to other delegation members including coaches, team officials and referees.
Gill said she believed the world of sport was beginning to address the issue of illegal betting having previously been slow to realise the severity of the threat it poses.
"I think with doping, sports have got their heads around that and are dealing with the issue. I think betting is something which has cropped up which they hadn't given as much thought to, particularly the world of online gambling," Gill said.
Betfair, which has eight analysts monitoring betting patterns on its exchange, has struck similar agreements to share information with soccer's governing body FIFA, the International Cricket Council and the English Football Association.
"Despite the efforts of the gaming industry to combat fixing, everyone involved in sport recognises that the main threat lies in unregulated betting in Asia," Reuters noted.