Our laws are safe, you can bet on it
THE acting State Attorney-General is monitoring online betting closely in light of the arrest of a man accused of tampering with results data at the Australian Open tennis.
But there are no panic stations in Queensland just yet.
"We believe our laws are strong enough to deal with illegal betting, but we'll continue to work alongside the Commonwealth to protect the integrity of sports," acting Attorney-General David Crisafulli said.
The assurance follows the arrest at the Australian Open three days ago of a British man who used technology connected to his mobile phone to transmit rally-by-rally match outcomes to a betting agency in England.
The device enabled the information to be received by the man's employer, London-based company Sporting Data, well before official sources and up to 10 seconds before TV delays caught up.
Debate over the legality of the practice revolves around whether it unfairly compromised outcomes for online gamblers or simply gave the betting agency more up-to-date information to use for setting odds. The man was the first charged under Victoria's new "courtsiding" laws. He will face court next week.
"The Newman Government does have concerns about illegal online betting and the associated risk of match-fixing and is watching the issue closely along with the Federal Government," Mr Crisafulli said.
"At the moment, there are two existing offences in Queensland that cover behaviour associated with illegal betting and match-fixing (which has plagued sports such as cricket in the past).
"These are contained in the Wagering Act 1998 and the Criminal Code. Under the Wagering Act, any person who fixes or uses inside information to place a bet through TattsBet could face a maximum penalty of $22,000 or two years' imprisonment.
"The fraud provisions contained in the Criminal Code are to do with dishonest conduct. These provisions carry a maximum penalty of five or 12 years' imprisonment, depending on the circumstances."
He said the Federal Government was responsible for the interactive gambling laws, including online betting.