New Zealand has allowed spectators to return to live sports events, and illegal offshore bookmakers have been quick to make use of it. Sports administrators are working to deal with the offenders. So far there have been three incidents where people were caught relaying information to bookmakers in Asia about an ongoing ANZ Premiership game from the Auckland Netball Centre.
Courtsiders, people working for the bookmakers, provide live point-by-point commentary to the interested parties, which allows them to manipulate the betting market. Kate Agnew, head of events for Netball New Zealand, stated this is the first time this sort of activity has been registered in the country, but she added the organisation “anticipated this because we knew we were one of the few live sports that were allowing audiences in, so this was a possibility that this would occur so we did keep our eyes open for it.”
Information was passed to the police and other relevant authorities. Courtsiding is not a criminal activity in itself, but Agnew noted it can be related to additional suspicious activity. She added that she doesn’t see the struggle against courtsiders as an anti-betting activity but it’s unfair to the bettors who do it the legal way.