Tennis third most popular sport for betting

Betting on tennis is the third most popular sports for punters behind horse racing and football, according to the betting exchange Betfair.

"The key factors are technology and television," said David O’Reilly, Betfair’s legal advisor.

"It's truly global. Tennis betting is the third most important after horse racing and soccer."

Betfair certainly know about tennis betting. Last October, they voided all bets on a match between world number four Nikolay Davydenko and a relative unknown Argentinean Martin Vassallo Arguello because of suspicious betting patterns. Davydenko eventually retired and the match is currently being investigated by the ATP, the governing body of men’s tennis.

"This was probably the most extreme case of betting patterns that we have ever seen," O'Reilly said.

"If customers feel the sport isn't clean then we lose their business."

Meanwhile, Howard Stupp, the legal director of the International Olympic Committee, has laid down the law for athletes in the upcoming Olympic Games.

"For an athlete, it's very simple," he said.

"You can't bet on any sport at the Olympic Games. Our feeling is that the Olympic Games are so much in the public view that the chance of manipulation is a lot less."

We will have to see about that...

Editor, - 2008-01-23 11:22:52

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