There is renewed focus on fraudulent sports betting activities in the wake of this week’s allegations of match-fixing. In 2011, a Canterbury Bulldogs player was fined $4000 and placed on a 12 months good behaviour bond when he was found guilty of dishonestly obtaining an advantage. However under the current anti-cheating laws, a person who is found guilty of match-fixing faces up to 10 years imprisonment.
In 2011, the NSW Law Reform Commission published Report 130 Cheating at Gambling that addressed the problem of fraudulent sports betting activities. Following the recommendations contained in the report, the NSW government made legislative amendments to the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) in the form of new Anti-Cheating laws. These laws came into effect on 13 September 2012.
Offences under the anti-cheating laws
The anti-cheating laws are contained in Part 4ACA of the Crimes Act. A person will have committed an offence where they:
- Knowingly or recklessly corrupt a betting outcome of an event and,
- With the intention of obtaining a financial advantage or cause a financial advantage in relation to any betting on an event
The offences range from behaviour that constitutes engaging in, facilitating or concealing conduct or an agreement about conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.
Corruption conduct information and inside information
A person who is in possession of corrupt conduct information or inside information and uses that information for betting purposes is also guilty of an offence.
Under the Act, corrupt conduct information is information about conduct or proposed conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.
Inside information is defined under the Act as information that is not generally available but if it were, it would likely influence a person in making a betting decision in relation to the event.
The penalties associated with match fixing activities clearly demonstrate the seriousness of this behaviour. A maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment is applicable to the following offences:
- Engaging in conduct that corrupts the betting outcome of an event
- Facilitating conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event
- Concealing conduct or agreement about conduct that corrupts betting outcome of event
For the offence of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes, the maximum penalty is also 10 years imprisonment.
For the offences of using inside information for betting purposes, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.