Attorney General John Rau is today introducing legislation that will criminalise match-fixing in Australian sport with offenders facing up to ten years imprisonment.
"Professional sport has become a new market for organised crime in Australia and around the world," Mr Rau said.
"The risk of match-fixing is a serious issue, with international links identified in professional sport between organised criminal groups and match-fixing, illegal betting, money laudering, and corruption.
"Allegations of improper behaviour involve not only players but referees, coaches, officials, support staff and player agents.
"I have met with my fellow Attorneys-General on this matter on more than one occasion, and we support the development of a consistent, specific national approach to match-fixing offences.
"This legislation will have a clear impact on preventing and dealing with match-fixing.
"It will send a strong message to the public about its criminal aspects as well as clearly defining what constitutes a criminal offence."
Persons involved in match-fixing face up to ten years imprisonment for:
- engaging in conduct or facilitating conduct that corrupts the betting outcome that an event may face;
- encouraging another person to conceal from a relevant authority conduct or an agreement that corrupts a betting outcome of an event; and
- possessing information in connection with an event that is corrupt conduct information and places a bet or encourages another person to be on the event.
New laws to protect the integrity of Australian sport are part of the National Policy on Match Fixing in Sport signed by Australian Sports Ministers, and the national agreement of the Standing Council on Law and Justice supported by the nation's Attorney-General.
Existing legislative arrangements vary across states and territories. While these frameworks deal with match-fixing behaviours in most circumstances, a set of descriptions of behaviours to form the basis of nationally consistent legislation has been agreed upon by the Standing Council on Law and Justice.