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In a statement on Tuesday, Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, likened illegal gambling to steroid use when he called for an international anti-gambling force organized similarly to the World Anti-Doping Agency — i.e., some sort of EU or UN-led entity that coordinated police and government activities to combat sports betting.

Of course, the unethical activities of illegal, unregulated bookmakers casts a pall over many legal and ethical gambling operations, who frequently struggle in the face of significant public prejudice from certain quarters (and, all too often, a government policy that caters to such special interests).

However, Rogge went to far when he proposed to fund this effort by taking a piece of the action, says Patrick Nixon of the Association of British Bookmakers.

“Licensed British bookmakers should not be punished for the corruption that is overwhelmingly caused by illegal and unregulated betting operators based thousands of miles away.”

“High street betting shops and sport both lose out when illegal bets are placed – it is strange logic to suggest that bookmakers, and therefore punters, in this country must foot the bill when the problem clearly lies elsewhere.”

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