Court shows pity
In contrast to potential prison terms for NCAA athletes linked to sports betting in the US, a former Australian table tennis pro has avoided prison entirely despite admitting to placing 1170 bets on fixed games.
Adam Michael Green, 43, confessed to betting on multiple fixed table tennis games in Ukraine from his home in Newcastle, New South Wales. According to the Australian Associated Press, Green racked up $473,000 in winnings via Australian online sportsbooks
treatment Green needed for his addiction “would not be available behind bars”
Central to Green’s lucky break was the introduction of his psychological report before Newcastle District Court. Based on the report detailing his gambling disorder, District Court Judge Peter McGrath essentially ruled Tuesday that the ongoing treatment Green needed for his addiction “would not be available behind bars.”
Guilty plea pays off
Judge McGrath also stated his satisfaction that the ex-pro with no prior criminal history was “genuinely remorseful and ashamed for what he had done.” The court’s subsequent judgement on Green was a three-year intensive correction order, 100 hours community service, plus no betting account for three years.
Not bad going for a man whose eleventh-hour guilty plea before standing trial in June came after prosecutors agreed to a deal to drop over 60 other charges.
Green must also be thankful Defense Barrister Benjamin Bickford was fighting in his corner Tuesday. Bickford painted a cautionary tale of life after pro sports, stating Green found himself “a bit lost” when his playing career ended. Bickford claimed his client’s crime was one of opportunity that began when “he innocently contacted a Ukrainian table tennis player on Facebook to try get betting tips” when he was out of employment.
A bit too lucky
The defense barrister stated Green opened multiple Australian betting accounts for the unnamed Ukrainian to bet on table tennis matches, with the ex-pro getting a 20% cut on winnings. Green claimed he did not at first know he was betting on fixed games, which were played in Eastern Europe over seven months before his arrest in December 2020.
Bickford, however, said his client soon realized there was no chance the Ukrainian “could be that lucky” with his tips.
Green was a former a former junior table tennis champion considered for a spot on the 2012 Australian Olympic team, a year before his career would end. Detectives aided by Sports Integrity Australia arrested Green after investigating an illegal transnational gambling ring.