Jim Simos on betting over amateur football games in Australia

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Australian soccer’s governing body is taking a cut from bets placed on games at all levels in the country, from international blockbusters to amateur suburban club competitions, ABC News has reported.

This revelation comes despite the fact that most sporting codes only permit punters to bet on the two highest tiers of the competition.

According to a secret agreement seen by the ABC‘s Four Corners program, Football Australia gets either 1 percent of every bet placed in Australia on a soccer game or 15 percent of the bookmaker’s profit — whichever is higher.

South Springvale Football Club plays in the fifth-tier Victorian State League 1 competition. Club President, Jim Simos, told the ABC that news of secret betting was “disturbing.”

“There are people across the world that could be betting on our games that have got no idea who we are. There’s got to be a limit to it,” Mr Simos said.

Betting companies can access information on these games to set up bets by working with Sportradar, a company using data scouts.

Photo by Markus Spiske.

According to experts, low-level games being available to bet on increases the risk for players being approached with money in order to lose a game on purpose.

Sport integrity specialist, Dr Catherine Ordway, said amateur clubs — like South Springvale — were especially vulnerable.

Mr Simos told the ABC that the club has not been approached by Football Australia to be advised on the matter.

In a statement, Football Australia said it allowed betting on the lower-level competitions “as a strategy to maintain oversight and protect the game from potential integrity threats through information sharing.”

“We’re acutely aware of the potential risks and have a comprehensive integrity framework in place to manage these risks,” it said.

Source: ABC

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