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AUSTRALIA: Courts not siding with ‘Pitchsider’

A British man banned from attending Cricket Australia (CA) matches for allegedly ‘pitchsiding’ at three ‘Big Bash League’ matches held in late December 2014 has indicated that he intends to challenge the legality of the ban.

‘Pitchsiding’ or ‘courtsiding’ is the practice of placing in-play bets at the venues of live sporting matches to exploit the small time delay between play occurring and the information being relayed via TV or online feed to betting agencies (who adjust their odds according). Exploitation of this delay can be extremely profitable especially where agents are located overseas. This is of particular concern to proprietors of sporting events, particularly where it threatens the integrity of gambling surrounding the matches and has the potential to undermine lucrative relationships with media partners who provide feeds to the respective betting agencies.

The man was convicted on 19 January 2015 having pleaded guilty to trespass charges and was cumulatively fined $1200 for also failing to comply with the terms of his entry ticket to one of the matches held at ANZ Stadium. The practice is a not criminal offence in NSW and so organisations and venues are only able to counter this issue by expelling and banning patrons from venues for breaching their terms of entry. These organisations are lobbying for more widespread legislation that replicates legislation in Victoria, which criminalises ‘engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of event or event contingency’. This legislation was prompted by an unsuccessful prosecution of an instance of ‘courtsiding’ at a 2013 Australian Open tennis match.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://blogs.dlapiper.com/mediaandsport/2015/01/australia-courts-not-siding-with-pitchsider/