Oz Minister asks for banning bets involving Pakistan

Melbourne: Victoria`s Minister for Gaming, Tony Robinson has asked the state`s gambling regulator to consider banning bets on all cricket matches involving Pakistan in the wake of the recent spot-fixing scandal.

"I regret that this action needs to be taken, but the government has a clear responsibility to ensure sporting events which Victorians can bet on are conducted fairly," he said.

"Recent allegations about the Pakistan cricket team mean we can no longer draw that conclusion," Robinson was quoted as saying in The Age.

The Minister expects Australia`s other state and territory gaming ministers to follow his suit.

"Sports betting is regulated by the states, so each state needs to be assured that it is fair for betting to continue on this type of match to ensure a nationally consistent approach," Robinson said.

"A number of gaming ministers have already expressed their willingness to investigate this matter further," he said.

Although the spot-fixing scandal involving three Pakistani cricketers, including captain Salman Butt, was under investigation, Robinson defended his decision.

"My responsibility is to ensure sporting events which Victorians can bet on are conducted fairly. Allegations of activities that affect contingencies and outcomes of games...need to be investigated to maintain the integrity of betting in this state," the Minister said.

"Ultimately, I am hopeful this issue will be resolved and people around the world will continue to enjoy the cricket without any questions about its integrity," Robinson said.

PTI