Canberra - Australia will impose tough new penalties of up to 10 years in jail for match-fixing and betting on fixed matches after a meeting of the country's national and state law ministers, Sports Minister Mark Arbib said on Friday.
The move follows a series of betting and match-fixing scandals involving international cricket, highlighted by Pakistan's Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif being jailed for fixing parts of a test match in England last year.
"We want to make sure we do everything possible to send a message to those people who want to be involved in match fixing that there will be jail time, and it won't be a light punishment," Arbib said on Friday.
Attorneys-general from Australia's national government and from the six states and two territories agreed to pass uniform laws across the country to stamp out corruption in sport.
Leading Australian online sports betting agencies Sportsbet.com.au, betfair.com, centrebet.com and sportingbet all welcomed the development, which they said would help protect sport from gambling-related corruption.
"Our industry has a zero tolerance policy towards match-fixing in sport," said Sportsbet executive chairman Matthew Tripp.