Illegal betting is fueling sports corruption says HKJC integrity chief

The growth of illegal betting in Asia has led to the global expansion of illegal operators, spreading criminal involvement in racing and other sports betting markets, said the director for security and integrity of the Hong Kong Jockey Club during the Asia Racing Conference.

During the 2016 Asia Racing Conference, held in India, illegal gambling and match-fixing was at the top of the agenda. Martin Purbrick, Hong Kong Jockey Club’s integrity chief said “In just the past month, we heard of massive match-fixing syndicates in tennis, an international cricketer from South Africa charged in similar scandals, and that half the Canadian Soccer League’s matches this season have signs of suspicious betting activity.” He estimates $500 billion of the $716 billion bet globally each year is illegal gambling which fuels criminal activities.

Asia is the driver, which are responsible for 70 to 80 percent of the illegal market, according to Purbrick. “The growth of illegal betting in Asia has led to global expansion of the operators, the consequent spread of criminal involvement in racing and other sports betting markets, as well as being a driver for other criminal problems such as sports corruption and money laundering.” He claims Philippines is a hub of illegal activity, and cited one website as having turnover on Hong Kong racing equivalent to 57 of the legal market.