Weekly integrity in sport update from INTERPOL 21-27 December 2015

This week, Media reports many facts surround betting. In USA a men has been arrested because of sport gambling charges focused on NFL and college football games. While in Illinois the attorney has declared two "fantasy" sports sites illegal, an Australian cricketer and a senior handicapper in New Zealand been sanctioned for betting in violation of the integrity rules.

This week we also offer to our Singaporean colleagues the possibility to clarify an important point about one article reported in our Weekly Media Recap dated 30 November 2015 (page 3).

In the article, it was stated that “Introduced in 1955,the Singaporean detention law has been used against suspected drug traffickers, illegal money-lenders and criminal gang members, especially in cases involving insufficient evidence for prosecution.

NCB Singapore had clarified that the underlined portion of the statement does not accurately describe the intended application of the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act. Drawing your attention to the 2nd reading of the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) Bill on 11 Nov 2013, the former 2nd Minister for Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore, Mr. S. Iswaran, had explained the rationale and use of the CL (TP) Act: "I wish to emphasise and assure Members that prosecuting offenders is, and will always be, the first and preferred course of action. However, this may not be possible in every instance, as I have explained with examples, especially in cases where witnesses, who may be victims or fellow syndicate members, are unwilling to come forward and testify in open court. The Act is used as a last resort in such circumstances."

Members, if they like, may read the full report here.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

United States

A Keys man taken into custody at Miami International Airport on gambling charges ran a betting ring focused on NFL and college football games since at least 2009, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Joseph Patrick Clements, 55, who Keys jail records say is a computer tech for the Monroe County School District, is charged with bookmaking, a third-degree felony. He was released from the Miami-Dade County jail shortly after Friday’s arrest at the airport. The case will be prosecuted in Monroe County.

Clements, who lives on Big Coppitt Key, was arrested on Dec. 12, 2014, on two misdemeanor marijuana charges following a search of his Prado Circle house nine days prior after tips came in that there might be drugs in the house. While Monroe County Sheriff's Office detectives were searching, they reportedly found gambling ledgers. That’s when the FDLE got involved and discovered what it says was a $10,000-a-week gambling operation.

According to a heavily redacted seven-page arrest affidavit, the FDLE discovered 14 gambling “reports” from a gambling website. About “20 code names were noted under the heading ‘player’ each week. Handwritten check marks were also noted beside the weekly balances showing a player’s credit or debt.

There were also “nicknames and abbreviations with numbers encircled or in parenthesis. Plus and minus marks were also found [that] partially coincided with the nicknames found on the computer-generated ledgers.

One of the purported bettors interviewed by state attorney’s investigator Millard Quad on Aug. 13 said he got interested in betting in 2012 and was put in touch with Clements, also known as Joe Weed. The bettor reportedly told Quad he would place bets by calling an 800 number and speaking with a live person about point spreads and odds. He said he placed bets of $50 to $100 a game over the phone.

Another purported bettor was interviewed on Oct. 13 and said he was introduced to Clements in 2009 at the Hog’s Breath Saloon in Key West. He reportedly bet 10 to 20 times a week, $500 to $2,000 weekly. He said his credit limit with the bookmaking operation was $1,000. If he lost more than that in a week, his account was shut down until it was settled.

Yet another purported bettor said he spoke about betting with Clements five years ago at a Key West bar and gave the same general information as the others about how to place wagers.

Source: Larry Kahn, "Accused of running sports gambling ring, man known as ‘Joe Weed’ arrested at Miami airport ", 23 December 2015, Miami Herald, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/florida-keys/article51262585.html

 

ILLEGAL BETTING

United States

Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan has declared daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings to constitute illegal gambling under state law.

The decision makes the popular games illegal to play within the state. Legislation is currently pending to except fantasy sports from Illinois’ broader gambling prohibition laws, with a bill proposed in the House of Representatives last month. The state rep who proposed the bill issued a statement Wednesday that he would continue working within the legislature to eventually allow the games to be played.

Danny Ecker of Chicagobusiness.com reports Madigan sent a letter to the New York-based FanDuel and DraftKings that they must post on their websites that Illinois-located players are not eligible to play.

A similar declaration took place in New York, where attorney general Eric Schneiderman’s injunction to shut down both sites was granted earlier this month, blocking the contests from being offered in the state. A stay was then granted allowing DraftKings and FanDuel to continue operation as they await another ruling from the attorney general.

Source: AP, "DraftKings, FanDuel declared illegal gambling in Illinois", 23 December 2015, SI by Si Wire, https://www.si.com/more-sports/2015/12/23/daily-fantasy-sports-draftkings-fanduel-illinois-illegal-gambling

ODDS AND ENDS

Australia

Racing NSW stewards have increased their CCTV footprint at metropolitan training centres after entering into an agreement with the Australian Turf Club to place more cameras around walkways and entrances of stables.

Trainers have been surprised by cameras that in some cases have been put up in trees to monitor movements around Randwick, Rosehill and Warwick Farm.

Chief steward Ray Murrihy said the cameras would give the investigation and surveillance team "more eyes in more places" and continue to raise the level of integrity in NSW racing.

The Sam Kavanagh cobalt case showed how easy it was for people to enter stables relatively undetected.

The effectiveness of cameras was also illustrated when a hoon in a car ripped up the Warwick Farm straight with a series of burn-outs and donuts. On that occasion, it was a trainer's security camera that provided the evidence that allowed police to catch the driver.

"We are always prepared to work with Racing NSW to increase the level of integrity in the sport and anything we can do, we are more than willing to do it," ATC spokesman Brett Devine said. "Everyone in racing wants to see a level playing field and we want everyone to have confidence in racing."

Source: Chris Roots, "Racing NSW stewards increase security cameras at metropolitan tracks", 27 December 2015, The Sidney Morning Herald, https://www.smh.com.au/sport/horseracing/racing-nsw-stewards-increase-security-cameras-at-metropolitan-tracks-20151227-glvetx.html

Kenya

Nairobi, Online Sport betting is a relatively new phenomenon in East Africa as compared to other parts of the world. However in the few years of existence, it has worn the hearts and minds of not only the gamblers but also sports fans and the public at large more than anyone could have imagined before. The region is now moving towards gambling like someone on a pilgrimage. Currently over 20 bookmakers have established their presence in the region, thus providing a wide range of opportunity to gamblers who can now choose where to place their bet and who to gamble with.

Upon establishing its presence in Nairobi Kenya the CEO from one of the betting companies said that “Sports betting has finally arrived at its destination”. I do agree with him because online sports betting is now spreading like wild fire in this region. It’s as if betting has sneezed and the people are catching flu, yet they seem needles of a cure any time soon.

Some facts can be attributed to the spread of online betting in this region.

Other than the presumption of winning large sums of money and the temptation of betting that is akin to an addiction, the bookmakers have embraced the art of advertising at its best. Everywhere you turn the billboards scream out at you why you should start betting like yesterday. The airwaves are filled with stories of big money betting winners and television prime time is covered with such advertisements.

It is also worth noting that East African region is home to mobile banking and thus making it easy for gamblers to transact money without any inconvenience. Because of this, the process is faster, efficient and easy. It is a matter of clicking a button right from placing your bet, to receiving your cash if you have won. The simplicity of the process is one of the contributing factors that has lured most people to online sport betting. In matters business and profit, betting has proven to be a very lucrative investment for bookmakers who themselves gambled and took all the risks to invest in this region which had remained in the dark about betting some 10 to 15 years ago. Online sport betting Bookmakers such as Sport Pesa, Royal Sport Betting, Just Bet and Bet yetu are some of the most popular betting companies around. Prospectively, online sport betting is here to stay but what is uncertain is the impact that is going to have. Whether positive or negative. To the bookmakers so far it seems they are in a win win situation and to the gamblers it is a win lose situation, but to sports in general the impact is yet to be determined.

Source: "Online Sports Betting taking East Africa by storm", 21 December 2015, Box score news, https://boxscorenews.com/online-sports-betting-taking-east-africa-by-storm-p132739-68.htm

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Australia

An Australian cricketer has received a two-year suspended sentence for bets totalling Aus $9 (£4.36) during the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Angela Reakes, 24, of the ACT Meteors in the Women's National Cricket League, was guilty of breaching Cricket Australia's (CA) anti-corruption code. She pleaded guilty to placing five bets on the Australia v New Zealand final man-of-the-match betting market.

CA integrity unit chief Iain Roy said: "Angela knows she made a bad mistake." He added: "All elite cricketers are reminded regularly that betting on any form of cricket is strictly prohibited."

Source: AP, "Angela Reakes: Player punished for £4.36 bets on World Cup final", 22 December 2015, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/35158436

Greece

Greek tennis player Alexandros Jakupovic has received a life ban from the sport after the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) found him guilty of five corruption charges for match fixing. The TIU, a joint initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation, the ATP World Tour and the Women's Tennis Association, carried out an investigation into the 34-year-old before a hearing on September 29 in London. Having considered the case, Independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Jane Mulcahy handed Jakupovic an immediate life ban. The five charges proven against him related to Section D of the 2013 and 2014 Tennis Anti-Corruption Programmes. Jakupovic was found guilty of “directly or indirectly” contriving the outcome or any other aspect of any event, as well as trying to “solicit or facilitate any player to not use his or her best efforts in any event.” He was also found to have breached the rule that related to offering or providing “any money, benefit or consideration to any other covered person with the intention of negatively influencing a player’s best efforts in any event.”… Following the verdict, Jakupovic has been made ineligible to compete or attend any tournament or event organised by the sport’s governing bodies.

Source: Michael Pavitt, "Greek Davis Cup player Jakupovic receives life ban for match fixing", 21 December 2015, Inside the games, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1032721/greek-davis-cup-player-jakupovic-receives-life-ban-for-match-fixing

New Zealand

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has suspended its senior handicapper Dennis Quirke for betting on races. Quirke was immediately suspended from domestic handicapping duties when the betting activity was identified by the Racing Integrity Unit last Thursday. Quirke has also been charged with breaching the Rules of Racing by the RIU. "The integrity of thoroughbred racing is of the utmost importance to NZTR and we must have a zero tolerance to matters of this nature," NZTR chairman Dr Alan Jackson said. The RIU charges involve 14 bets, totalling $627, placed by Quirke on five New Zealand thoroughbred races, over three separate days, between August 8th and October 26th. The largest individual bet was a $55 fixed-odds win bet on the favourite in a set weight maiden race. In addition to suspending Quirke, NZTR has immediately conducted an independent rating review of all horses in the five races on which Quirke placed a bet.

Source: AP, "Quirke suspended for betting on races", 24 December 2015, Radio New Zealand News, https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/292808/quirke-suspended-for-betting-on-races

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