The ARF Council on Anti-illegal Betting and Related Financial Crime produces a quarterly newsletter advising stakeholders about the latest developments in illegal betting and financial crime threatening horse racing and other sports. Each bulletin contains one or two articles on key issues, and new research in this area and analysis of implications for regulators, sports governing bodies and other stakeholders, as well as a curated list of important news articles in the field.
This edition of the Quarterly Bulletin highlights two important issues related to illegal betting that have wider relevance to integrity in horse racing and other sports.
ARF Council Member Tim Robinson highlights an important case study in Australia where Racing Victoria collaborated with the Victoria Police to protect the integrity of their racing.
ARF Council Member Brant Dunshea explains the increased use of unauthorised drones intruding onto racecourses.
The issue of use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the betting industry is critical as illegal betting operators move quickly to adapt to new technologies and regulatory loopholes/grey areas, leading to an advantage in illegal markets over legal betting markets. Unregulated cryptocurrencies are a fundamental threat to legal, licensed, regulated betting markets as they allow customers to play anonymously and operators to avoid Anti-Money Laundering procedures. The legal betting industry as well as credible regulators need to urgently cooperate to ensure that effective regulatory structures and processes are developed in order to avoid cryptocurrencies benefitting the growth of the illegal betting markets, and in doing so further funding transnational organised crime groups.
In this edition, Graham Ashton explains why horse racing is ideally placed to help protect sports integrity and prevent organised criminality from infiltrating sport. As a former commissioner of police who established one of the first law enforcement sports integrity units, Graham is well placed to explain why horse racing has matured with the inter-relationship between its product and betting, and led the development of sports anti-corruption measures.
Also, James Porteous, Council Secretary, gives an overview of our new publication, Good Practices in Addressing Illegal Betting: A Handbook for Horse Racing and Other Sports to Uphold Integrity. All of the members of the Council have collaborated to compile this essential guide to protecting integrity in horse racing and other sports from corruption caused by illegal betting.
In this bulletin, Professor Jack Anderson, Director of Studies, Sports Law, at the University of Melbourne provides a summary of a study conducted for Harness Racing Victoria which shows the positive impact on horse racing and other sports of integrity units.
In this first bulletin, we outline changes in the betting markets resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and what this may mean for betting on horse racing and sports in the longer term.