According to investigative report issued by the Australian government, the illegal gambling market in the country is worth up to A$1bn. Michael Andrew, Chairman of the Black Economy Taskforce - the government body that tackles the black economy and carried out the report - confirmed this figure and said that at least 10 illicit operators remain active in the country. "During our work we have identified numerous illegal betting exchanges operating in Australia, many connected to Asian crime gangs. Illegal gambling undermines the integrity of our racing and sports entertainment industries,” said Andrew. He added: "It makes no economic contribution to social infrastructure, state taxation nor to the cost of the racing product. "It puts legal betting operators at a large competitive disadvantage especially with high volume professional punters." Black Economy Taskforce’s first draft stated outlaw exchanges consisted of international crime syndicates and local criminals, who are being investigated. The taskforce’s final report is due next month, with the body having taken 147 submissions to date, some of which have come from racing industry insiders. Black Economy Taskforce aims to aid the federal government retrieve more than A$15bn in lost federal tax revenue and illegitimate welfare payments due to the black economy. Following this motion, there are particular concerns about punters using unauthorised operators in the lead up to November’s Melbourne Cup.