New Zealand Cracks Down on Match-Fixing

Published August 7, 2014 by Lee R

New Zealand Cracks Down on Match-Fixing

Ahead of major global sporting events, New Zealand seeks to criminalize match-fixing.

With the 2015 Cricket and FIFA U-20 World Cups around the corner, host country New Zealand is preemptively cleaning up sport via legislation stepping up match-fixing prosecution.

Criminalizing Match-Fixing

The Crimes (Match-fixing) Amendment Bill proposing a seven year prison term for match rigging passed its first reading at July's end.

The related general policy statement explains that the bill “is intended to address the most serious match-fixing activity where influencing a betting outcome is intended by improperly manipulating a sporting match or race.”

Amending the Crimes Act

The legislation is proposed as amendment to the Crimes Act 1961. The new section specifically targets “manipulation, with intent to influence a betting outcome, of various sporting competitions and events through deception.”

New Zealand lawmakers are unanimously supporting the legislation, with the goal being to have match-fixing become a criminal offense by the time the country hosts the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

In-Country Corruption

In demonstrating the urgency of the need in New Zealand, the country's Justice Minister Judith Collins cited the recent lifetime ban imposed on New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent for match fixing.

Growing Concern

Sports Minister Murray McCully acknowledged the recent vulnerability of New Zealand and the need to protect the integrity of sport, "Match-fixing is a growing problem internationally and has been described as the number one threat to the integrity, value and growth of sport. As we have seen from recent events, New Zealand is not immune to this threat."

The Vincent scandal lingers, as fellow New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns remains under investigation, despite his denials of any involvement.

Global Perspective

The global problem cannot be underestimated at this point, as in a report released earlier this year, the International Centre for Sport Security estimated that more than US$140 billion is laundered annually through sport betting and 80 per cent of global sport betting remains illegal.

New Zealand Government Priority

With an impending global spotlight shined in them, the New Zealand government is sending a clear message about its goal of preventing further illegal sports-betting activity and manipulation on home soil.

See also

It's Time to Educate against Match Fixing

Gambling Operators Join FIFA's Anti Match-fixing Coalition for Brazil 2014 World Cup

ESSA Reflects on Match Fixing

Responsible Gambling: IOC Initiates Battle Against Match-Fixing

Tennis Tries to Hit This One Outa Here

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