Does The House Always Win?


2015042120150426 (R4)

In-game betting is becoming hugely popular, but does it threaten the integrity of sport?

Betting on the outcome of sporting fixtures is so last century. Now you can take a punt on practically anything that happens within a game - from who will win the first set in tennis to who will score the first goal in a football match.

Welcome to the world of in-game betting where gamblers test their skill and luck almost as the action happens. It's growing fast as the lucrative new frontier for the betting world, and is particularly popular in the huge Asian market.

With events unfolding so quickly, time is everything. But because the television pictures are always a few seconds behind the real-time action, punters at live events will have an advantage over those watching at home or in a betting shop.

In this documentary Simon Cox looks at how some exploit the TV delay either by betting online directly from the event or by sending in scouts with hidden devices to feed the information about what's happening ahead of the official television pictures.

This practice, often called 'court-siding,' is now illegal in one part in Australia were concerns had been expressed that it could lead to match-fixing and corruption.

So what lengths are people prepared to go to gain those crucial seconds that give them an advantage? And what evidence is there that in-game betting poses a threat to the integrity of some our most popular sports?

Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: Anna Meisel.