Olympic organisers will meet betting industry representatives this month to finalise measures to prevent illegal gambling at London 2012, with plans for a drop-in zone to offer advice to athletes in the Olympic Village during the Games.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge said last year that illegal betting is as big a threat to the integrity of sports as doping.

Betfair, which operates the world's largest betting exchange, has agreed to share information with the IOC on potentially suspect gambling at this year's Olympics.

London organisers will meet representatives of the IOC, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, the Gambling Commission and betting companies on March 20, a Betfair executive told Reuters Friday.

The idea is to make sure that we all know who we are, the system of contact during the Olympics and what will happen if there are any issues. Ninety percent of the ground work is already there, Betfair's public affairs manager Susannah Gill said in an interview.

Among the measures being considered by the IOC's head of ethics Paquerette Zappelli is setting up an area in a prominent location within the Olympic Village where athletes get advice on gambling regulations.

It will be a kind of education zone, a place where they can go and get information, said Gill.

Betting is prohibited for athletes taking part in the Games under a code of ethics running for a month from the opening of the Olympic Village on July 16.

The ban applies to other delegation members including coaches, team officials and referees.

Gill said she believed the world of sport was beginning to address the issue of illegal betting having previously been slow to realise the severity of the threat it poses.

I think with doping, sports have got their heads around that and are dealing with the issue. I think betting is something which has cropped up which they hadn't given as much thought to, particularly the world of online gambling which is fair enough as the industry is only a decade old, Gill said.

Betfair, which has eight analysts monitoring betting patterns on its exchange, has struck similar agreements to share information with soccer's governing body FIFA, the International Cricket Council and the English Football Association.

The threat posed by sports betting corruption came to the fore last year when three Pakistani cricketers were jailed after being found guilty of taking bribes to fix parts of a test match against England in London in 2010.

Despite the efforts of the gaming industry to combat fixing, everyone involved in sport recognizes that the main threat lies in unregulated betting in Asia.

The unregulated market, the blackness of it to everyone is the issue. Regulation and transparency is the key, Gill said.

(Editing by Alison Wildey)