Players and officials of the Big Bash League (BBL) have been warned about the peril of match fixing with the news that an astounding $2.2 billion was bet on last season.
This year the city based TwentyT20 tournament begins on December 17. Total eight players will vie for the trophy. The tournament opener will be played between two city rivals Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers at Spotless Stadium. There is a anticipation that the tournament will get more attention than the last edition and even better than the ongoing Australia versus West Indies Test series.
Cricket Australia told all stakeholders of the game, including franchise owners, venue officials and players that a total of 2.2 billion was wagered on the 2014/15 version. An average of $60 million each across 35 matches played last December and January was bet.
The big pie of the betting was conducted through global exchange Betfair, which reported a 28.6 per cent lift in BBL revenue from the previous season and a 70 percent rise at Betfair UK.
This is for the first time in Australia CA’s anti-corruption unit reached out to offshore betting operators in an effort to establish lines of communication and request exchange of information and about patterns on the sport.
CA has taken the decision to inform the players on the advice of the Australian Federal Police and the Victorian Sports Integrity Intelligence Unit. Both Victoria police and Australian Federal police informed CA that SBOBet in the Philippines and the Curacao-based organisation Pinnacle Sports are the two major players of betting in Australia.
But, these two companies denied sharing any information with CA as they are not bound by information sharing unlike corporate bookies of Australia.
As a result football, tennis and netball are mainly sponsored by corporates such as Betfair, William Hill and Bet 365 in their push to introduce online in-play betting in Australian sports market. Under the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act, anobody can gambling during play except players over the phone.
“Australian cricket has a long-standing, proactive approach to sports integrity management,” a CA spokesman said to the journalists. “While betting on sport is not new to our community, the increase in its popularity in recent years has seen us take significant steps to ensure we safeguard the integrity of our competitions.”
The Big Bash T20 has not seen any kind corruption unlike IPL, Bangladehs Premer League, where many players were found guilty in match fixing.