Corruption in sports betting across the world
According to a statement made earlier this week by the Director of Qatar’s International Centre of Sports Security, Chris Eaton, Southeast Asia is struggling to fight against match-fixing and organized gangs are making millions in profits. The recent inquiries made by the European police show that a large syndicate based in Singapore has fixed over 380 football matches so far and made more than £7 million in the process. To make things even worse, this is just a small sample of the scale at which match-fixing takes place in Asia and the total profits are estimated to be a hundred times bigger.
Eaton also mentioned that, in his opinion, the reason for such a wide corruption in Asian betting market is the lack of clear regulations. Without a strict focus on fraudulent betting activity, sports corruption is allowed to bloom and so starts the vicious circle. The Asian governments tend to focus more on sports corruption rather than the look into betting, which can be considered as the source. A call for transparency with betting operators in Asia would help solve the problem in a short amount of time.
Less risk in Europe
With the sports betting market in Europe being the most powerful one in the world, there are some concerns regarding match-fixing as well. However, according to large gambling operators and betting firms, it would seem that European sportsbooks are in less risk of gamblers looking to make some easy money through fixing matches than the ones found in Asia.
The reasons why the European sports betting market is more secure are the same recommended by Eaton for the Asian markets. With a clear integrity system, information sharing and transparent audit trails amongst sports federations, the industry is allowed to flourish in perfect conditions with sportsbooks and gamblers both benefiting from the regulations.
More sports news will reveal the fact that the European Sports Security Association has identified 69 incidents in 2012 alone and 8 of them where suspicious. Around half of the incidents were related to football betting. The Chairman for the ESSA, Mike O’Kane, stated that there are 15 sets of eyes looking at transactions which are sure to discourage bad people from the licensed European operators. William Hill and Ladbrokes are part of the ESSA as well as other large sports betting companies.
Sports betting scandals
As an eye-opener for the amount of match-fixing taking place around the world, over 700 cases were presented this week and while it may be shocking, this is not the first time that the trend was uncovered. The most recent examples are the badminton teams from China, Indonesia and South Korea which were banned and not allowed to take place in the 2012 London Olympics because they tried to lose and get a better matchup for the next round.
Another popular case is the 2007 basketball scandal regarding Tim Donagby; a referee which placed bets on NBA matches and offered inside information regarding injuries and personal tendencies from other referees. He was sent to jail for 15 months as a result of his actions.
Horse racing has not been left out and there have been quite a few scandals in this segment as well. Incidents range from experienced jockeys claiming to be amateurs to get their ranking down to online hackers changing tickets around the United States. There is now a lot of controversy regarding Damien Oliver in Australia; the jockey was placing wagers on his opponent through an intermediary.
2007 was also the year when tennis player Nikolay Davydenko threw in the towel due to injury in a game where more than $7 million was wagered. Betfair voided the bets placed on the match after finding irregular patterns.