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Sports

Organised crime launders 100 billion euros through gambling, report

media Flickr

Eighty per cent of the world's bets on sport are illegally carried out, according to researchers from Paris's Sorbonne University and the Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS).

Criminals launder 100 billion euros every year in gambling, according to figures released on Thursday by Sorbonne University just a month before the football World Cup starts. 

"Betting threatens all countries and regions, with football and cricket the sports most under siege," the report says.

Estimated wagers are worth between 200 billion and 500 billion euros.

As France on Thursday authorised two new online sport betting operators, Zeturf and Winamax, the researchers estimate about 8,000 legal operators are operating in offshore tax havens and say that it is impossible to control illegal gambling operations. 

"Current international instruments are insufficient and there is a desperate need for well designed criminal laws specific to the manipulation of sport," said Laurent Vidal chair of the Sorbonne-ICSS programme.

"It won't help to reinforce the law in France, if nothing is done elsewhere. Gamblers will carry on betting in others countries," he added.

According to the Sorbonne report, sports gambling represents about two per cent of world GDP.

Because of "the rapid evolution of the global sports betting market", there is "an increased risk of infiltration by organised crime and money-laundering," said ICSS director Chris Eaton.

Europe represents 49 per cent of the legal and illegal market and Asia accounts for 53 per cent of illegal sports betting. 

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