NZ betting agency to accept bets on Pakistan

Updated: Sep 01, 2010, 14:53 PM IST

Wellington: New Zealand`s state betting agency will accept wagers on cricket matches during Pakistan`s December tour despite match fixing investigations into the Pakistan team.

Totalisator Agency Board chief bookmaker Mark Stafford said the New Zealand TAB would continue to offer a range of betting options on Pakistan`s one-day matches in December, including on the number of runs scored in the first over and the number of sixes hit in a match.

Stafford said the TAB doesn`t offer the gambling options that gave rise to the match fixing investigations in Britain after Pakistan`s recent Test against England at Lord`s.

At least four Pakistan team members are being investigated by British police after News of the World newspaper allegations that players deliberately bowled no-balls in its humiliating fourth-Test defeat to England at Lord`s.

"We don`t offer spot-betting, which is open to manipulation," he said. "If anything looks remotely unusual, we will shut it down. We have a good audit department who would then get in touch with the right authority."

At the same time, gambling regulators in Australia`s Victoria state are considering ban on betting on matches involving Pakistan.

State gaming minister Tony Robinson said today the Victorian Commission on Gambling Regulation will urgently review current approvals for betting on cricket matches involving the Pakistan cricket team.

"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," Robinson said.

"Recent allegations about the Pakistan cricket team mean we can no longer draw that conclusion."

Stafford said he was confident the New Zealand TAB`s operations would not be affected.

"We don`t do the markets the fixers look at and we are so far off the radar. But we are not complacent, we monitor patterns closely."

Betting turnover on cricket matches in New Zealand is generally small and anomalies would likely be recognised, Stafford said.

Bureau Report