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Australia to implement 10-year jail term law to deter match-fixers

June 11, 2011 - Canberra

Australia will soon implement anti-match-fixing laws, which call for ten-year jail terms for guilty parties.

The laws will be implemented nationally following a landmark agreement between federal and state sports ministers on combating corruption.

The laws will be policed by a new integrity watchdog and will require information sharing between sporting administrations and betting companies.

Under the plan, described by Sports Minister Mark Arbib as "an outstanding result", sports will have to adopt consistent codes of conduct and meet anti-match-fixing and anti-corruption standards to receive government funding.

"As betting volumes increase, sport is vulnerable to organized crime, to launder money and conceal illegal activity," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Arbib, as saying.

'"I am pleased that all Australia's governments are presenting a united front against the scourge of match-fixing," said Arbib.

"The only way we can deal with this threat is by working together to ensure we have a national policy underpinned by legislation, codes of conduct and industry standards," he added.

The agreement on a national approach, championed by the Coalition of Major Participation and Professional Sports, followed four months of negotiations that concluded with a meeting of ministers yesterday.

Cricket Australia and the Australian Football League appreciated the law that aims to combat match fixing.

"We have been seeking these protections for many years and congratulate federal minister Arbib and his state and territory counterparts on today's historic decision to seek uniform national laws," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.

"Australia loves its sport and fans deserve the confidence of knowing there are robust governmental protections in place nationally to protect sport from corrupt influence and match fixing," Sutherland added.


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