Australian Rugby Union today announced a new two year partnership with independent international online betting monitoring company, Global Sports Integrity (GSI) – in a ground- breaking move for an Australian sport.
Based in London and Australia, GSI monitor the betting markets from over 100 bookmakers in the UK, Australia and around the world and will help to ensure the integrity of Rugby is maintained.
Over the next two years GSI will monitor sports betting websites for any irregular betting patterns on FxPro Super Rugby matches and Tests involving the Qantas Wallabies.
GSI will allow early intervention if suspicious betting trends are identified before a match – key to preventing any occurrences of match fixing or spot fixing.
Rugby will be the first sport in Australia to introduce external expertise to supplement the internal practices in place for the past two years since the appointment of former detective and Qantas Wallabies team manager, Phil Thomson as ARU Integrity Manager.
As part of his role as Integrity Manager Mr Thomson is responsible for managing ARU's relationship with betting operators, considering proposed new bet types, and working with players to ensure they understand their responsibilities.
Mr Thomson said the partnership would help maintain Rugby's integrity and provide the game with an additional layer of monitoring and protection.
"We already have agreements in place with almost 20 online betting operators in Australia who provide us with information on any suspicious betting patterns should they occur," Mr Thomson said.
"While these agreements are good this new partnership with GSI will provide us with additional confidence that we are doing everything we can to uphold the integrity of the game.
"Knowing we have an independent body who will be maintaining a watchful eye provides further comfort that we are doing everything possible to avoid any issues."
GSI Director, Mark Phillips, said GSI was pleased to be able to assist Rugby in supporting its strong stance on maintaining a high level of integrity in the game.
"We know how important maintaining the integrity of the game is especially for an international sport such as Rugby," Mr Phillips said.
"That is why we are pleased to provide ARU with a comprehensive monitoring and investigative service to satisfy Rugby fans, partners, investors and the betting public that ARU is doing everything in its power to combat betting related corruption in Rugby.
"GSI will monitor and report unusual or suspicious betting patterns and will provide detailed expert witness statements for any subsequent court cases or disciplinary hearings.
"We will also provide a detailed weekly report on the betting market activity on the previous round's Super Rugby matches and Test matches."
The partnership, which will run until the end of 2013, began prior to the Qantas Wallabies opening Test against Scotland on Tuesday, 5 June.
GSI will monitor betting on all 15 of the Qantas Wallabies scheduled Tests in 2012, all remaining FxPro Super Rugby matches for 2012 and the entire 2013 season as well as the entire British and Irish Lions Tour and all Qantas Wallabies Tests scheduled next year.
To find out more contact: JR Doughty, Global Sports Integrity, +44 7880 602 083 or Karl Schubert, Australian Rugby Union, +61 2 8005 5627.