Page 2495 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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The offences in the bill apply to events that occur in the ACT or elsewhere through the rules in the Criminal Code, provided there is a nexus of jurisdiction with the ACT. There will be a nexus of jurisdiction if, for example, the bet on the event occurred in the ACT. This is important because complex schemes to illegally benefit from a fixed event can involve conduct in another jurisdiction.

The bill inserts three new offences into the Criminal Code to criminalise specific match-fixing behaviours and cheating at gambling activities. New section 363F will criminalise conduct that results in a corrupt betting outcome for an event, and obtaining a financial advantage or causing a financial disadvantage in connection with betting on the event.

This offence will deal with actions that corrupt a betting outcome, such as deliberate underperformance or “tanking”, interference with a playing surface, or any actions likely to affect the outcome of betting, contrary to standards of integrity. It is also intended to capture someone who pays another person, or puts pressure on another person, to engage in such conduct.

Madam Deputy Speaker, players and team officials will still be able to make tactical decisions for reasons other than affecting a betting outcome. The offence is squarely aimed at corrupt conduct that affects a betting outcome for financial advantage. Section 363G prohibits betting while possessing information about a corrupt betting outcome. The purpose of this provision is to prohibit a person who possesses information about a fixed event from doing something that results in a bet on that event.

The offence extends to encouraging another person to bet on an event or telling someone else about the fix where the person knows the other person is likely to bet on the event. To prove this offence, it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that a bet was actually placed by the first person or another person. However, the person needs to engage in conduct, and the person needs to possess information and be reckless as to whether it is corrupt conduct information.

The definition of “bet” includes accepting a bet. In this way, the offence also criminalises accepting a bet on a sporting event knowing that the outcome of the event has been fixed. This means that sport betting organisations can be held equally culpable if they knowingly accept bets on corrupted sporting activity. The maximum penalty for these first two offences is 10 years imprisonment consistent with penalties for other serious fraud and dishonesty offences in the code. Section 363H relates to betting with inside information and carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.

I have previously pointed to the New South Wales Law Reform Commission report on match fixing that noted that inside information relating to sports can be of considerable importance to certain criminal syndicates that employ sports betting in support of money laundering activities. This offence prohibits a person who possesses inside information about an event from betting on that event, or encouraging another person to bet on that event in a particular way, or communicating the inside

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