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

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The Independent Online

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.