IOC ensures fair Olympic bets

2012-01-12 20:26

London - Online gambling exchange Betfair has reached a new agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to share information on any illegal betting activity during this year's London Olympics.

Betfair said on Thursday it signed a "memorandum of understanding" in London with the IOC to monitor any suspicious betting patterns.

Betfair said it will provide betting markets on all gold medal events during the games.

The company said it will apply its technology systems and team of experts to "ensure that any suspicious betting activity is investigated and relayed straight to the IOC as required."

Martin Cruddace, Betfair's chief legal and regulatory affairs officer, said the company and the IOC "are completely aligned in wanting to ensure consumers can bet on sporting events in a transparent and secure manner."

The IOC, which also had agreements with Betfair at previous games, put systems in place to monitor betting at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. No illegal activity was reported.

IOC spokesperson Emmanuelle Moreau said the committee has agreements with all betting operators, lotteries, bookmakers and betting exchanges to tackle possible corruption.

"By strengthening its cooperation with operators such as Betfair, the IOC steps up its efforts to protect the integrity of sports competitions through a permanent and efficient system of information exchange," Moreau told The Associated Press.

IOC President Jacques Rogge has frequently cited illegal betting, bribery and match-fixing as being as big a threat to the Olympics as doping.

British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan said in a recent interview with the AP that closer cooperation among intelligence agencies and increased education of athletes is required to protect the integrity of competitions.

"I think it is a really serious issue, particularly for those athletes around the world for whom a bribe of $20 000 is a life-changing amount of money," Moynihan said.