The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has revealed that it stopped people from accessing online gambling sites using its network during the US Open event held in New York City this summer.
According to a piece in online publication Network World, the annual tennis tournament on Long Island provides members of the press along with players and guests with access to the Internet. It took the added security measure of adding a web filtering system to its network following the alleged betting scandal involving Russian player Nikolay Davydenko that came to light in August of 2007.
'We didn't want people at the event to have access to gambling sites,' said Larry Bonfante, Chief Information Officer for the USTA.
Bonfante stated that filtering out access to gambling sites was a proactive step taken to head off any troubles and he was proud that the sport of tennis was considered ‘above board’ and ‘squeaky clean’.
“Even if it's just the perception, we just didn't want people to have access to known gambling sites so we bolted it down,' said Bonfante.
The USTA revealed that it utilised the iPrism Web filter from St Bernard Software to block access to any websites associated with gambling. It stated that this system was chosen due to its ease of installation and flexibility in reporting and has been utilised at both the Billie Jean Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows and its headquarters in nearby White Plains.
However, even with the filtering software installed, the USTA stated that there were 17,000 attempts to reach online gambling sites during the course of the two-week event.
'What the rationale there was for all this, we don't know,' said Bonfante.