IOC and Betfair Sign Agreement to Share Information Regarding London Games

An agreement regarding information sharing was signed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Betfair. The aim of the agreement is to reduce the chances of corruption during the 2012 London Games. According to Betfair, the biggest online gambling real money exchange, it has other memorandums with governing bodies. These too lay out an information sharing framework. This will help the betting exchange identify and tackle issues related to betting integrity.

Corruption in Betting has Huge Impact on Betting

A spokeswoman for IOC mentioned that the committee has similar agreements with other bookmakers, lotteries, betting exchanges and betting operators. Jacques Rogge, the president of IOC and Hugh Robertson, the minister of sports, agree that corruption from betting will have a huge impact on the success of the London Games. At the IOC, a unit specifically tracks suspicious patterns in betting. The Gambling Act of 2005 has been amended to permit the IOC to obtain information from the Gambling Commission, which regulates commercial gambling activities in Great Britain.

Though the Gambling Commission has not licensed Betfair, the sportsbook has taken all possible measures to ensure that corruption is under control at the Games. The online bookmaker cites the agreements it has with governing bodies as an example of its commitment to this cause.

Integrity Teams at Betfair, Metropolitan Police and IOC to Detect Corruption

Betfair has formed an integrity team which uses specialist software to follow all the wagers made with the bookmaker. A specialist unit will also be established by the Metropolitan police. Punters can expect to get access to markets for all gold medals that will be competed for this year at the games. Martin Cruddace, the chief regulatory and legal officer at Betfair, stated that the interests of both Betfair and IOC are aligned. Their objective is to ensure that the environment at the sportsbook is fair and transparent to all punters.

According to Cruddace, the sportsbook and governing bodies will be able to protect sports only if they are co-operative and open with each other. The agreement between Betfair and IOC is a reflection of this. This year’s agreement between the two is not the first. Previously, in 2008 and 2010 for the Beijing Olympics and Winter Games respectively, the two bodies had established systems for monitoring betting. No illegal betting activity was reported either year.

Last year, Rogge stated that corruption in sportsbetting is as much a threat as doping. The issue is not limited to one country. It affects sports at an international level, as broadband enables punters to bet on sites operated from almost all countries.

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