The British betting industry is leading an effort to try to avoid illegal gambling on the 2012 Olympic Games in London this summer. To this end a meeting was organised recently between representatives of the gambling industry and Olympics officials. The meeting between members of the International Olympic Committee, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, the Gambling Commission and members of the betting industry met to discuss how the different groups will deal with and also report on any suspected illegal betting on the games.
Communication between the various groups of any signs of illegal betting was also discussed.For both members of the International Olympic Committee and of the legal betting industry potential betting scandals and the fixing of events are looked on as being as great a threat to the London Olympic Games as doping is. Illegal betting is a huge problem that has exploded with the widespread use of the internet and the main fear concerning the fixing of Olympic events is the possibility that foreign, illegal gambling industry operators especially in Asia could influence competitors to throw events in return for financial reward.
It appears to be less likely that event fixing will take place for the very popular Olympic Games events such as swimming and gymnastics. What is more likely to happen is that illegal gambling operators will target smaller, less popular competitions and make money this way. However recently a representative of Ladbroke’s, one of the leading British bookmakers stated that the company will monitor large bets placed on smaller competitions.On the one hand the International Olympic Committee and the British Olympic Association have voiced concerns about the potential problem of match fixing during the various Olympic competitions while on the other hand members of the British betting industry claim that the Olympic Games will not feature as a major betting event for gamblers who will tend to bet in much greater numbers on the European Soccer Championships which will also take place during the summer.