A potential loophole in the Crimes (Match-fixing) Amendment Bill will be mended by making it clear that any sporting manipulation done with the intent to influence a betting outcome will be a crime.
The proposed amendment is the only change which the Select Committee has recommended in its report back released last Friday.
The Select Committee considered that, in the Bill as first drafted, a defence could have been available if a game was manipulated in part for a tactical or strategic sporting reason – even if there was also intent to influence a betting outcome. Ordinarily tactical or strategic manipulation is fair game, but not when accompanied with intent to gain financial advantage through betting.
The Bill is timed to be in force for the Cricket World Cup and FIFA Under 20 World Cup, both of which New Zealand will host next year. Anyone who engages in match-fixing would commit an offence and be liable to seven years in prison. See our earlier commentary here.