Tennis Pros Suspended for Online Gambling

Published Thursday, July 16, 2009 -

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour is under fire from four tennis professionals that are speaking out against the organisation regarding suspensions levelled against them for allegedly online gambling. The recent media attention on professional tennis players and their ability to manipulate matches has caused these four to see the action brought against them as a scapegoat measure designed to appease the media and officials. Italian countrymen Giorgio Galimberti, Alessio Di Mauro, Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali, all admit they gambled, for small stakes.

Each contends that the ATP Tour is using them to impress tennis fans with the ATP's anti-corruption program. The tennis pros have said that co-defendant Interwetten, which is a "leading provider of online sport betting" provided the Association of Tennis Professionals with information on its members' betting history in exchange for sponsorship of future ATP events. Interestingly the online sportsbook recently sponsored the Interwetten Austrian Open Kitzbuhel. Interwetten is one of the leading providers of online sport betting. The operating companies and their holding company are based in Malta. The internationally active company currently has more than 1,000,000 million registered customers in 200 countries. In 2008, bets were placed on more than 90.000 different sports events in more than 70 countries. Altogether, 11 million sports bets were placed in the previous year.

ATP's official rulebook is "terse, vague and ambiguous," written only in English, and the players are not given enough time to read it before they sign the consent form, so the four suspended pro tennis players complained.

The 2007 match between Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello sparked much of the suspicion and media alarm which resulted in the ATP finding no wrong doing. Even though large sums of money were wagered on an obscure game.The men are represented in Federal Court by Robert Elgidely with Genovese Joblove & Battista.

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