London Olympics: UK to target betting syndicates

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London Olympics
London, Jan 2: With the fear of betting syndicates looming large over the upcoming Olympics, Britain will set up a dedicated intelligence unit to target fixers, especially from Asia, to counter the menace which has overtaken doping as the biggest threat to the Games.

The specialist team will monitor suspicious betting patterns and share intelligence on those who attempt to bribe athletes into fixing events.

The new intelligence unit will target syndicates who may try to "spot fix" events or outcomes within matches. It will comprise the International Olympic Committee, Gambling Commission and if required, the police.

Explaining how the unit would operate, UK's Olympic Minister Hugh Robertson said: "We have a very sophisticated information sharing system, so the moment there is any spike in betting activities that is recorded and investigated.

"We're reasonably clear that we can police the UK end of it. The much more difficult element is how you police illegal syndicates probably operating a long way away from these shores," he told the BBC.

He said fixing had overtaken doping as the biggest threat to the July 27 to August 12 London Olympic Games.

Robertson believes the minutiae of competition is where betting scams are most likely to occur, given the growth in spread betting.

Gamblers can now stake money on the smallest detail in an event rather than the overall outcome, making illegal acts of fixing potentially difficult to detect, the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

PTI

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