Match-fixing to be criminalised in New Zealand
The New Zealand government has amended its Crimes Act 1961 to include match-fixing in it to give "greater certainty to law enforcement agencies and international sporting bodies". While existing legislation might have covered match-fixing under other offences such as fraud, this amendment will for the first time deal directly with fixing as a crime.
This was part of a new sports match-fixing policy announced by New Zealand sport and recreation minister Murray McCully. "New Zealand is not immune to the international risks of match-fixing, and we are taking pre-emptive steps to protect our well-deserved reputation for playing fair and the integrity of New Zealand sport," Mr McCully said. "Today we have released the New Zealand Policy on Sports Match-Fixing and Related Corruption, and announced plans to amend the Crimes Act 1961 to ensure the most serious form of match-fixing is a criminal offence."
McCully said the new policy will provide a framework for proper regulation of betting. "The national match-fixing policy provides a comprehensive framework for collaboration across government, the sport sector and the betting industry to address match-fixing risks to New Zealand sport," McCully said. "An important component of the policy is ensuring we have a strong legal framework around match-fixing, and ensuring it is subject to criminal sanctions.
"We have therefore decided to amend the Crimes Act 1961 to ensure match-fixing is included. While match-fixing may already be covered by existing legislation, the decision to refer to it specifically in the Crimes Act gives greater certainty to law enforcement agencies and international sporting bodies."
There have been quite a few incidents of match- and spot-fixing in cricket around the world recently. In countries that don't have clear laws against match-fixing, the onus of investigation and correction falls on sporting bodies, which don't always have the resources to deal with it.