Murray Expresses His Opinion Of Internet Gambling


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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Andy Murray Headshot 150

Andy Murray was prepared to say what many other people were thinking after corruption connected to internet gambling has become the major talking point of the first two days of the 2016 Australian Open.

Many people, both within the game and on the periphery as simple fans, are wondering about the wisdom of the growing trend of bookmakers and on-line gambling sites becoming sponsors of some of the sport’s most high profile events.

Murray read extensively in newspapers and on-line about the new allegations being directed by the BBC and Buzzfeed News report. And he wonders about the sport’s ruling bodies taking sponsorship money from gambling companies with one hand and trying to alienate betting with another.

“I think it’s a little bit hypocritical, really,” said the Australian Open’s second seed. “Because I don’t believe the players are allowed to be sponsored by betting companies but then the tournaments are. I don’t really understand how it all works. I think it’s a bit strange.”

William Hill, the long established British-based bookmakers. are¬†proudly displaying their newly bought status as the tournament’s official betting partner. Late last year Betway was announced as an international sponsor of both the Davis and Fed Cups. And Hamburg’s Bet-At-Home Open is a ATP Masters 500 series event.

Even Goran Ivanisevic has signed on as an ambassador with Unibet.

Chris Kermode, the ATP World Tour’s Executive Chairman and President takes a conflicting view to Murray’s and insisted a close liaison with gambling companies is beneficial to tennis.

“I don’t think it’s an issue because and I think it can actually help at times,” said Kermode. “The Tennis Integrity Unit are working with betting companies all the time to spot corruption.

“The distinction to make is that betting itself is not an illegal pastime, and many people do bet on sport. What we are talking about corruption.

“Sometimes we can talk about betting and corruption in the same thing, and they are different. I think the more we work with betting companies it’s in their interest that there isn’t corruption. So they are as strong as we are that we are getting rid of corruption within the game.”

“Because I don’t believe the players are allowed to be sponsored by betting companies but then the tournaments are. I don’t really understand how it all works. I think it’s a bit strange.”

Meantime William Hill proudly announced an 80 per cent surge in betting turnover on the first day of the 2016 tournament and a nearly 300 per cent increase in the controversial live-in-play betting method.

Tennis Australia’s commercial director, Richard Heaselgrave, insisted gambling was a legal recreational pastime in his country and said: “William Hill has a strong track record working with global sporting bodies and a significant aspect of this partnership is our capacity to work side-by-side to uphold the integrity framework of the sport.”

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.