Online gambling operator Betfair and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced a partnership for the 2012 Olympics designed to clamp down on the threat of gambling-related corruption for various sports and games.
The IOC has signed an information-sharing agreement with Betfair (which operates an online betting exchange as well as offering casino and poker games) to stamp out potential corruption related to the London 2012 Games.
The two organizations will share data in order to pinpoint unusual betting activity that could point to match fixing or other irregularities, utilizing Betfair's in-house software and dedicated integrity team.
"The interests of sports governing bodies, like the IOC, and Betfair are completely aligned in wanting to ensure consumers can bet on sporting events in a transparent and secure manner," said Martin Cruddace, Betfair's chief legal and regulatory affairs officer. "If we are to protect the sports we all love then we must continue to work openly and co-operatively, and today's agreement is a clear example of just that."
Much of the concern is related to illegal betting markets in Asia, which are unregulated and unchecked and can see billions change hands each year with no obstacles or checks in place to prevent individuals or groups from bribing athletes to alter results.
Sports such as tennis have been particularly susceptible to match fixing, with some online betting sites going so far as to void results when a heavily favored opponent unexpectedly retires or otherwise performs very poorly when far more than usual is wagered on their underdog opponent to win.
Major sporting events such as the Olympics and football's World Cup can have a major impact on the results of both online and offline sportsbooks, with the increased action influencing both quarterly and annual financial results during the years the events are held.