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Facilitating Match-Fixing Conduct or Match-Fixing Arrangement

The offence of facilitating match-fixing conduct or match-fixing arrangement is designed to capture those who may not be sufficiently involved to be charged with engaging in match-fixing conduct. It contains the same maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, highlighting the intention of Parliament to eradicate any involvement in match-fixing, regardless of what extent the offender has been involved.

Section 443B of the Criminal Code Act 1899 states a person who facilitates match-fixing conduct or a match-fixing arrangement in sport to:

  • obtain or receive a pecuniary benefit for any person; or
  • cause a pecuniary detriment to another person

commits a crime. The person will be liable to a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

A person “facilitates” match-fixing conduct or a match-fixing arrangement if they agree or offer to:

  • engage in the match-fixing conduct; or
  • participate in the match-fixing arrangement; or
  • encourage another person to
    • engage in the match-fixing conduct; or
    • participate in the match-fixing arrangement.

What Is The Definition Of Match-Fixing Conduct?

Under the Act, “match-fixing conduct”, in relation to sport, means conduct that:

  • affects, or if engaged in, could reasonably be expected to affect, the outcome of the sport situation; and
  • is contrary to the standards of integrity that an ordinary person would reasonably expect of persons in a position to affect or influence the outcome of the sport situation.

What is the Definition of Match-Fixing Arrangement?

Under the Act, “match-fixing arrangement”, in relation to sport, means an agreement between 2 or more persons relating to any person engaging in match-fixing conduct to:

  • obtain a pecuniary benefit for any person; or
  • cause a pecuniary detriment to any person.

What Actions Might Constitute Facilitating Match-Fixing Conduct Or Match-Fixing Arrangement?

  • Encouraging a soccer player to miss a penalty kick because you have placed a bet against that side.
  • Agreeing with a football umpire to not pay certain free kicks in a game of football which is likely to increase the chances of your friend’s bet on the game.
  • Attempting to bribe the full-forward of Brisbane Lions AFL side to miss the winning goal which will result in you winning a bet on the match.

What the Police Must Prove:

The police must prove the following for you to be convicted:

  • that you were the person facilitating the conduct;
  • the conduct constitutes “match-fixing conduct” or “match-fixing arrangement” under the definition;
  • the purpose of the conduct was for a pecuniary benefit or detriment to a person.

Possible Defences for Engaging In Match-Fixing Conduct:

  • Identity – it wasn’t you who engaged in the conduct;
  • The conduct does not fall under the definition of “match -fixing”;
  • You did not engage in the conduct for the required purpose;
  • Duress – you were forced to engage in the conduct.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

Despite the maximum penalty of this charge being 10 years imprisonment, the offence of engaging in match-fixing conduct is predominantly heard and determined in the Magistrates Court. The only occasion the matter may be dealt with in the District Court, is when the Magistrate determines due to the nature or seriousness of the matter, the defendant, if convicted, may not be adequately punished in the Magistrates Court.

Types of Penalties

Imprisonment : Even though it is not a sentence of last resort (as it is in some other states) imprisonment is the most serious penalty which a court can impose upon a person. At its most severe a sentence of imprisonment means that a person must spend a specified period of time within a correctional facility, also called a prison, a jail or a gaol. Read more.

Intensive corrections order (ICO): An Intensive Corrections Order (‘ICO’ for short) is, technically, a form of imprisonment but which is served wholly in the community. This means that a person who is made subject to an ICO will not spend any time in prison but will, instead, be required to adhere to a number of requirements that the court will order.

Probation: A court can make a Probation Order either by itself, meaning the whole of the sentence is probation, or as a component of a sentence of imprisonment, meaning that a person is ordered to serve a period of time (not longer than 1 year) in prison and is then subject to a probation requirement upon release.

Community service order (CSO): As the name implies, a Community Service Order (‘CSO’ for short) is an order which requires a person to perform unpaid work, normally at some kind of community facility, for a stated number of hours (to a maximum of 240) within a nominated time (usually 6 or 12 months).

Recognisance: A recognisance is a promise which a person makes to be of good behaviour for a stated period of time. A court is empowered to release a person who enters into a recognisance, either with a surety, which is a sum of money which the person agrees to pay if they breach the recognisance, or without one.

Fines: A court is empowered to impose a fine, which is a sum of money which a person is required to pay to the State, for any offence regardless of whether the law creating it nominates a fine as part of the applicable penalty.

Section 19 dismissal: A court can discharge a person absolutely, or upon them entering into a recognisance, without recording a conviction against them, if it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so.

In all cases where you are sentenced to a penalty other than jail, the court can choose not to record a conviction against you, meaning your criminal record will remain clear and any complications with work or travel may be avoided.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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