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Police arrest man over betting allegation at the Australian Open

Updated: Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 09:01 | Comments

Police arrest man over betting allegation

Police have arrested a British man and are seeking a series of individuals suspected to be placing bets on tennis matches at the Australian Open.

A 22-year-old was arrested during a game at Melbourne Park on Tuesday and charged with one count of "engaging in conduct that would corrupt a betting outcome," deputy commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters in Melbourne.

"We believe he is part of a syndicate but we don't yet have the details," Ashton said. "I don't (think it's an isolated incident).

"I don't want to talk too much about those individuals for obvious reasons (but) we are alert to individuals."

Police had received intelligence from Tennis Australia, the sport's governing body and organisers of the year's first grand slam, and had acted on it quickly, Ashton added.

“Courtsiding” invariably involves a syndicate, with a spectator using an electronic device to send a signal to another person at another location to place a bet on the outcome of a particular incident at a sporting event.

The bet is placed before legitimate betting agencies are able to close off wagering on a specific event.

"Overseas, certainly there are examples (of courtsiding) in relation to football, in relation to cricket," Ashton said.

"It has been around for several years, it's particularly becoming more difficult to do because of the speed of communications and technology but it is still very active.

"As we know, the global tennis betting market is in the tens of millions (of dollars) every day."

Sports-related corruption can incur jail sentences of up to 10 years in Victoria.

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