Sri Lanka tightens bans on sports betting and match fixing

In unanimously passing the bill Prevention of Offences Related to Sports on Monday, the government of Sri Lanka has not only confirmed its ban on sports betting within the country, but also prohibited its citizens from engaging in sports betting overseas as well.

Other aspects of corruption within sports, especially match fixing, are also a primary target of the new law.

In particular, investigations by the Anti Corruption Unit have uncovered cases of match fixing within the national cricket team. Indeed, the Sports Ministry worked closely with the International Cricket Council in the process of drafting the bill.

Violators of the new law could face up to ten years in jail and fines of up to LKR100 million (about $555,000) for match fixing. People with family links to gambling businesses are also prohibited from holding authority over significant sports organizations.

Sports Minister Harin Fernando commented, “Many tried to prevent this piece of legislation, but I am happy that it was taken up today.”