Australia plans 10-year jail for match-fixing

SYDNEY— Law ministers in Australia’s states and territories on Friday struck a deal that will see sporting match-fixers face up to 10 years in jail.

By (AFP)

Published: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 11:29 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:18 AM

The ministers agreed to draft new legislation to deal with the issue and ensure it is handled with consistency throughout the sprawling country.

The new laws with impose a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of using inside information for the purposes of placing bets where they know the outcome of a sporting event has been fixed.

There will be similar penalties for those who engage in match-fixing conduct or encourage others to do so.

“The introduction of specific match-fixing offences will send the message to anyone seeking to corrupt sport that we are serious and we won’t tolerate that behaviour,” national Sports Minister Mark Arbib said.

“We want to make sure we do everything possible to send a message to those people who want to be involved in match-fixing that there will be jail time, and it won’t be a light punishment.

“The decision to adopt consistent national match-fixing offences is an outstanding result for sport and fans of sport.”

It is expected most states and territories will enact the new laws some time next year.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland welcomed the move.

“Australians love their sport, and want to see their champions play on a level playing field, free from corrupt practices such as match-fixing,” he said.

“Today we are sending a clear message to criminal groups and individuals who seek to corrupt sport in this country that their actions will not be tolerated.”

The announcement came in the same week that Cricket Australia formed an Anti-Corruption and Security Unit to help maintain the integrity of the country’s domestic competitions.

It followed a British judge jailing disgraced former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt, two of his bowlers and their agent for their part in a fixing scandal that rocked the game.

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