Speed wants criminal penalties for match-fixers


The money gambled on cricket now is astronomical, and if former ICC CEO Malcolm Speed is to be believed, at least 500 million dollars were gambled away during the recent World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan in Mohali. The Age quoted Speed as saying in his book “Sticky Wicket: A Decade of Change in World Cricket”, that any game involving India attracts about 200 million dollars.
Betfair chief executive Andrew Twaits believes it would be naive to suggest approaches to players were confined to punters or bookmakers in illegal, unregulated markets.
He argues all states should adopt the Victorian requirement for all betting agencies to gain approval from the relevant sport and for all gambling operators to move towards an account-based betting regime.
”The transparency that an account-based model creates is a vital first step towards guarding against corruption in sport,” Twaits said in a blog.
Speed adds: “The other vital ingredient is for there to be specific criminal penalties for those involved in gambling-related corruption, whether those allegations relate to outright match-fixing or spot-fixing or trading with the benefit of price-sensitive information.” Speed, now executive director of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, is expected to recommend both of those things in a research paper in its final drafting stages.
Lord Paul Condon, the former chief of the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, told the ICC board in 2009 the absence of the council’s investigators from that season’s Indian Premier League called into question the integrity of the event. He also expressed concern about the party atmosphere, which enabled easy access to players. ICC investigators now have a presence at the IPL and the Twenty20 Champions League, in which CA has a financial stake.