A British man has been arrested at an Australian Open tennis match on suspicion of betting offences.
Daniel Dobson, 22, was detained during a match at Melbourne Park for allegedly sending information about the game electronically to another location - allegedly a betting syndicate. The authorities were alerted by police intelligence on betting gangs operating at the Major tournament, where British Wimbledon winner Andy Murray is competing.
The practice, known as court-siding, involves a gambling ring placing bets on events in a game. The objective is to bet on the event before the bookmaker knows it has happened and adjusts the odds. By beating the bookmaker in this way the betting syndicate can earn huge winnings by placing a stake with the bookie.
If convicted, Dobson could face up to 10 years in jail, under new laws in the State of Victoria which target illegal betting syndicates. His arrest follows a similar incident at the same tournament, last year.
Deputy police commissioner Graham Ashton said: "We believe he is part of a syndicate. Overseas betting groups will try to engage in any way they can to disrupt and corrupt sporting events.
"Overseas, certainly there are examples (of court-siding) in relation to football, in relation to cricket. It has been around for several years. It's becoming more difficult to do because of the speed of communications and technology but it is still very active.
"As we know, the global tennis betting market is in the tens of millions (of dollars) every day."