Like many people I’m appalled by the findings of the Australian Crime Commission regarding organised crime, drugs and the prospect of matchfixing in sport.

The ACC’s concern with the potential fraudulent manipulation of betting markets is consistent with the finding of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform that exotic bets may be damaging to the integrity of sport and should not be allowed.

I share the Committee’s view and believe exotic bets – also known as spot bets – should be outlawed.

In December 2011 the Committee brought down its report on interactive and online gambling and gambling advertising. Among other things, the Committee found:

14.37 The committee majority holds some concern about exotic bets, noting in particular the evidence from the University of Sydney Gambling Treatment Clinic suggesting that the existence of exotic betting opportunities presents difficulties for problem gamblers. While recognising that exotic bet types make up a small portion of the overall sports betting market, the committee majority notes that the risks associated with exotic betting have the potential to be damaging to the integrity of Australian sport. The committee majority commends and supports the action taken by the AFL and NRL to eliminate certain exotic bet types. The committee majority considers that the work being undertaken by Sports Ministers is the appropriate forum in which to consider nationally consistent policies in relation to regulation of exotic betting, including providing sports with the right to veto bet types.

Until such time as a national independent research institute on gambling (as recommended in chapter two and in the committee’s previous report) can undertake this work, the committee majority suggests that research on the risks of exotic betting (both for those who bet and for sporting participants) and appropriate regulatory responses be commissioned under the existing work by Sports Ministers on the National Policy on Match-Fixing in Sport to assist sporting bodies with decisions in relation to veto power over bet types.

The Committee’s report can be found at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=gamblingreform_ctte/completed_inquires/2010-13/interactive_online_gambling_advertising/report/index.htm