Australian Open 2014: British man arrested in connection with alleged illegal betting syndicate suspected of 'courtsiding'

Police are seeking a 'series of individuals' after they confirm an investigation into the alleged betting scam, which involves placing bets with the advantage of beating the time delay of televised sporting events

Police said here today that they had arrested a 22-year-old British man and were seeking a “series of individuals” in connection with an investigation into alleged illegal betting at the Australian Open. Police suspect a syndicate of “courtsiding”, which involves placing bets with the advantage of beating the time delay as live television pictures are beamed around the world.

Graham Ashton, a deputy police commissioner, said that the man had been arrested during a match yesterday and charged with “engaging in conduct that would corrupt a betting outcome”. The police had acted on intelligence received from Tennis Australia. The police do not think it was an isolated incident. “We believe he is part of a syndicate but we don't yet have the details,” Ashton said.

Syndicates who use courtsiding are supplied with information by a spectator using a mobile phone or other electronic device. On the basis of that information, bets can be placed in a variety of betting markets, which could involve the outcome of matches or of particular games or sets.

The arrest, the first made at a tennis event in the state of Victoria, was made possible under changes in the law here concerning sports-related corruption. There was a suspected incident at last year’s tournament, but no arrests could be made because the relevant legislation was not in place.