Aust Open ‘courtsider’ used hidden device

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16 Jan 2019

The first person charged with Victoria’s new “courtsiding” offence used a device hidden in his shorts to send live updates from the Australian Open to a betting agency, a court has heard.


UK man Daniel Thomas Dobson, 22, was arrested after a match on Tuesday following intelligence received by Tennis Australia and passed onto police.

Dobson allegedly had the device built into his shorts and linked to his mobile phone.

This allowed him to wirelessly relay the results of points won in the tennis match to an international betting agency as they happened, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.

Police prosecutor Josh Diemar said Dobson sent the agency the results before they could get them through the official channels.

He said that had the ability to affect betting odds.

“That (data) has been sent quicker than the official results can get posted,” he said.

But Dobson’s lawyer Sass Nasimi said his client was simply collecting data for the betting agency.

He said the data was used to protect the agency from fluctuating odds.

“It is an exercise of collecting data about who has won a point,” he said.

Dobson has been charged with one count of engaging in conduct that would corrupt a betting outcome.

He was arrested at showcourt two at Melbourne Park but it’s not known what match he was watching.

Mr Diemar told the court police were investigating two other UK men in relation to the courtsiding offence.

Magistrate Simon Garnett adjourned the hearing until January 23 so both the defence and prosecution could better prepare for the charge, the first of its kind under new legislation introduced last year covering offences related to cheating at gambling.

Dobson had his bail extended but must surrender his passport, reside at a Melbourne motel and is banned from returning to the Australian Open.

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