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New match fixing laws aim to protect integrity of Victorian sport
The Victorian Government is to introduce tough new match fixing legislation to the Victorian Parliament this week in order to protect the integrity of the State's multi-billion dollar sporting industry.
Announcing the planned legislation, Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said that under the new laws, an individual found guilty of match fixing would face a maximum prison term of 10 years.
Premier Baillieu explained "Victorians love their sport and the Coalition Government is committed to protecting this vital industry.
"Anyone who attempts to manipulate professional sport for betting outcomes is a cheat and they will be caught and punished under these tough new laws."
The Crimes Amendment (Integrity in Sport) Bill 2013 targets people who attempt to engage in match fixing, race fixing and spot fixing.
The bill aims to outlaw four key types of offences:
• Engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome;
• Facilitating conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome;
• Concealing such conduct, agreements or arrangements; and
• Use of corrupt information for betting purposes.
Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty said the legislation was aligned with laws recently introduced in New South Wales and similar legislation currently before the South Australian Parliament.
Minister Delahunty explained "in late 2011, the State and Territory Attorneys-General and Sporting Ministers agreed to implement a consistent approach to match fixing legislation right across the nation.
"This legislation provides certainty and transparency for the many thousands of fans, participants and employees involved in all professional sporting disciplines here in Victoria."
Victorian Minister for Racing Denis Napthine added the new match fixing legislation implemented one of the key recommendations outlined in the Racing Integrity Commissioner's recent own motion investigation into race fixing.
While the report found no evidence of systemic race fixing in Victoria, it outlined a series of recommendations to enhance integrity process across all three racing codes.
Dr Napthine concluded "the introduction of this new match fixing legislation follows the establishment of a new Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit which was also a recommendation of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (RIC) report.
"I recently met with representatives of all three racing codes and the Department of Justice and we have formed a working group to continue working through each of the RIC recommendations.
"The integrity of sport and racing in Victoria is held in high regard and the Coalition Government is committed to ensuring that we remain vigilant, continually improve our integrity system and enhance our reputation as the best sporting state anywhere in the world."
Victorian Minister for Gaming Michael O'Brien said the new match-fixing legislation was flagged when the government responded to the findings of the 2011 Review of Sports Betting Regulation conducted by former chairman of stewards for Racing Victoria, Des Gleeson.
Minister O'Brien concluded "Victoria is the only state with comprehensive sports betting legislation and is a leader in this area of regulation.
"The community is rightly concerned about any potential for betting to undermine the integrity of our sporting events, and the Coalition Government's further measures will ensure Victoria not only remains at the forefront, but also that the integrity of our sporting competitions is protected."
Image: The Boxing Day Test at the MCG. One of the biggest event's in Australia's sporting calendar.
7th February 2013 - DRUGS AND CRIME REPORT ROCKS AUSTRALIAN SPORT
8th November 2012 - NEW UNIT TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF AUSTRALIA SPORT
17th October 2012 - NEW PARTNERSHIP TO TACKLE DOPING IN SPORT
26th July 2012 - COMMONWEALTH SPORT MINISTERS AGREE TO PROTECT INTEGRITY OF SPORT
18th November 2011 - MATCH-FIXERS TO FACE JAIL UNDER AUSTRALIA-WIDE LAWS
28th March 2011 - AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT WELCOMES CONSULTATION ON MATCH FIXING
28th January 2010 - AFL WARNS GAMBLING AND DRUG CHEATS
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