Australia`s major sports bodies unite against illegal betting

Melbourne: The recent spot-fixing scandal in England involving three Pakistani cricketers has made Australia`s leading sports bodies to join hands and stamp out illegal betting from their respective games.

The country`s major sports bodies -- the NRL, the AFL, Cricket Australia and the Australian Rugby Union -- in their bid to deliver a deadly blow to betting ports, have formed an investigative unit to examine their options, the most radical of which would be a permanent "gambling commission", the Herald Sun reported.

The commission, which would be jointly established by major sports, betting agencies and the Australian Sports Commission, would carry out forensic investigations into betting.

Other sports involved include tennis, soccer and netball.

The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) - the body governing all mass-participation sports in Australia - has launched a five-month investigation into gambling in sport.

COMPPS executive director Malcolm Speed - the former boss of world cricket - said the main focus of the investigation was "exotic" betting on "micro" outcomes in sports.

"We`re also looking at `in-play` betting with online and interactive gambling," Speed said.

The investigation was designed to "make professional sport in Australia bulletproof - or as close to it as possible - from corruption".

Speed said recent controversies including the police investigation into suspect betting on the Canterbury-Bankstown-North Queensland Cowboys NRL match and the no-ball scandal in the Pakistan-England cricket Test, were "the sort of things we`re looking at".

He said COMPPS was watching "recent developments in England, where a gambling commission has been set up along with sports-specific legislation relating to cheating in sport".

"A gambling commission was "one of many options". Other ways of minimising corruption include allowing sports to "run their own integrity and regulatory programs that they share information among the sports"," Speed said.

Speed, who became the inaugural head of COMPPS earlier this year, said the investigation would deliver a preliminary report by November.