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  • 05 June 2014 00:00
  • in Government
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  • Last Modified: 05 June 2014 09:30
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Lack of criminal action leaving sport vulnerable to match-fixing

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The Sports Betting Group, led by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, has sent a letter to the Minister of Sport Helen Grant saying that a lack of criminal action against match-fixers is leaving sport vulnerable to corruption. 

The letter explains that the active pursuit of criminal cases against suspected match-fixers will create a stronger deterrent to keep fixing out of the UK and argues that a new offence of match-fixing would make it easier to press charges. 

The Sports Betting Group letter highlights three specific cases where prosecutions have not taken place despite strong evidence and asks the Government to make match-fixing a specific criminal offence in order to make prosecutions easier in the UK.

"We know of a number of examples where cases have not been pursued by the police or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) despite very strong evidence,” said Sport and Recreation Alliance Head of Policy James Allen here at Sports Summit 2014. 

"That sends out a message that we are not taking this problem seriously enough and that all the fixers are risking is a sports ban. 

"We need to make it easier for law enforcement to secure prosecutions and creating a single crime of match-fixing would do that. 

"The fact is that betting corruption is part of serious, organised crime – big gangs of people, making big money at the expense of the integrity of our sports and the sport-watching public. 

"It’s used to launder money derived from other types of serious criminal activity, like drugs and extortion. 
"It’s a seriously criminal activity and the police need to be treat it as such.”

"We need law enforcement agencies to pursue match-fixing with energy and vigour – and to be seen to be doing so if we want to keep corruption out of sport. 

"The Government has been supportive of recent attempts to tighten the regulatory regime around sports betting, making key changes to the Gambling Act. 

"The creation of a match-fixing offence would send another message from ministers that the UK is not going to tolerate corruption in UK sport. 

"Sport is committed to working with all law enforcement agencies to drive corruption out.”

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