Olympic Games 2012 : threat of illegal wagering to be monitored

Olympic GamesBets may be placed on many aspects of the Olympic games ranging from which country will win the most medals, to their place in the medals table, to who will be the flag bearer at the opening and closing ceremonies. All of this before one even comes to the possibility of placing bets online or in bookmakers on athletics, field events, swimming, rowing, cycling, sailing, tennis to name just a few events. The growing interest in online betting on Olympic events has opened the way for an increased threat of fraud in this area. However steps have been taken by the British government to lessen the danger of illegal betting scams in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics.
The 30th Olympic games or the xxx Olympiad will take place in London and other venues around London starting on July 27th and finishing on August 12th 2012. This is the third time that London has hosted the games the last time being in 1948. In 2005 London beat the cities of New York, Moscow, Paris and Madrid to organise the games in 2012. The cost of building the Olympic Village and stadiums will be over 9 billion pounds. Quite a large portion of this budget will also be spent on security including the prevention of online betting fraud. The hope is that this event will showcase the country for investment and will also create a “feel good” factor in these times of economic crisis.The Olympics are based on the Ancient Greek tradition of running races. The International Olympic Committee games were first held in 1896. The event has grown from 14 countries, 43 events and 241 athletes in 1896 to 204 countries, 300 events and 10,000 athletes at the last Olympics held in China in 2008.

In the London Evening Standard the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge spoke of his fear that illegal betting will take place during the Olympics. For him it represents even more of a danger than doping. “The illegal betting networks, contrary to doping, are very international.” There will be tight security surrounding the games involving the armed forces and over 20, 000 security staff have also been recruited and there will also be online betting security to avoid fraud.

Betfair which is one of the world’s leading online sports betting providers has an agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to monitor any illegal betting activity. The IOC also has agreements with online gaming operators and bookmakers. In 2003 Betfair first set up information sharing agreements with the sports industry and it is this type of agreement it has with the IOC. Information will be shared on any suspicious activity relating to wagering on the Olympics and the IOC will also be able to monitor bets placed on Olympic sports.

During the last two Olympic Games there was close monitoring and no signs of illegal betting were seen. The hope is that it will be the same for the 2012 London Olympics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *