Punters who are planning on rigging fencing or kayaking at the 2012 Olympics should think twice before handing out bribes. BetFair is joining forces with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to keep an eye out for signs of unusual betting activity during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Longtime Partnership

The Gibraltar licensed bookmaker has worked with the IOC during past games in a similar arrangement. To date, they haven’t found any Olympic betting related fraud. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t potential.

Amateur athletes are ideal targets for unscrupulous betting rings looking to cash in on underdogs. This scenario may sound far fetched to Americans who are use to the iron hand of the NCAA regulating amateur sports, but it’s not uncommon in Europe. The Eurozone is regularly rocked by reports of low, and high, level tennis and soccer players throwing matches for cash bribes.

But its not just the athletes BetFair will be watching. Back in 2008, a Chinese couple concocted an elaborate scheme to capitalize on time delays to bet on Olympic events after the results had been posted. They were found murdered in their home before the games took place.

Even a small scale scandal would seriously rock the integrity of a worldwide sporting event that draws billions and viewers and dollars every time they happen.

Recommended Reading: Olympics 2012: Guide for Affiliates

Common Interests

“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,” a company spokeswoman said recently.

Last week  BetFair’s Security Chief Martin Cruddace commented on the deal to the Guardian, “The interests of sports governing bodies, like the IOC, and Betfair are completely aligned in wanting to ensure consumers can bet on sporting events in a transparent and secure manner.”

BetFair offers gold medal betting on all Olympic events, including fencing and kayaking.


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