Suicide, money laundering and match-fixing: the US$4.2 billion scourge of illegal gambling in Asia
20 Nov 2020

Illegal gambling will continue to drive people to suicide and facilitate money laundering and match-fixing unless government action is taken, warns the Asian Racing Federation.

In a research paper, the ARF’s anti-illegal betting task force outlines the widespread damage as illegal gambling grows at a quicker rate than the legal market.

“Our message to authorities is not only that illegal betting is a threat to racing and other sports, but also that a less visible threat of money laundering underlines illegal betting and facilitates the growth of transnational organised crime,” said task force chairman Martin Purbrick, who is the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s head of security and integrity.

“These issues require government action. If racing administrators do not influence governments and regulators to more effectively combat the illegal betting problem, it could kill the sport.”

The report focuses on Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, with illegal betting growing faster than legal gambling in all of those jurisdictions.

“Research shows that illegal betting causes excessive gambling – and thus gambling disorder – at a higher rate than legal betting; evidence supporting this was found in every jurisdiction.

“This higher incidence rate of gambling disorder is costly: financially and to society, in issues such as depression, family breakdown and even suicide,” the report said.

By Sam Agars, South China Morning Post, 15 January 2019

Read more at South China Morning Post

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