JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Man arrested, charged for courtside betting at Australian Open tennis

Date

Alana Schetzer

Police have arrested and charged a 22-year-old British man  with betting courtside at the Australian Open.

Officers saw the man at Melbourne Park on Tuesday evening taking part in "courtsiding" - placing bets on the point outcomes during a tennis match.

Police believe he is part of an Eastern European crime syndicate that targets international sports events.

He was arrested at 5.30pm and charged with one count of engaging in conduct that would corrupt a betting outcome. Police do not believe any players are involved.

He was bailed to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday and has been banned from attending the Australian Open as part of his bail conditions.

It is the first arrest in relation to "courtsiding" in tennis after state parliament passed  laws in April that specifically ban  the practice as part of a crackdown on illegal betting in sport.

Several arrests were made in relation to soccer matches last year. Some offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

Victoria Police’s Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit and Melbourne Crime Investigation Unit have been working with Tennis Australia officials to weed out  people seeking to "disrupt and corrupt’’ the tournament.

Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton said police believe the accused man  came to Australia especially for the Open.

He said the quick arrest should serve as a warning to other crime syndicates thinking of coming to Australia to corrupt the betting system.

"Certainly within Victoria we send a very strong message that it won’t be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly both by tennis authorities and by police," he said.

Courtsiding involves an individual sitting courtside at a sports event and sending messages to another person, usually overseas, to give them up to 10 seconds advantage on how a match is progressing. That time is then used to place the bet.

Police are still trying to find the second  person involved and will continue to monitor the crowd for the rest of the tournament.

Deputy Commissioner Ashton said there were several people police would focus on but declined to give any further details.

He said any allegations would be taken seriously, because the global tennis betting market was worth "tens of millions every day".

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo