Esports boom highlights match-fixing threat

Updated May 5, 2020 | Published May 4, 2020
[3 mins read]
For six individuals, five of whom have been charged with match-fixing in esports, it’s game over. The Australian state of Victoria’s Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit apprehended the culprits back in 2019 and has finally brought them up on charges of fraud.
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Match-fixing in sports has been happening from time immemorial. And the boom in esports popularity of late has led to some players following a well-trodden path to distort what should be a fair playing field for their own gain.

To stamp this out quickly and effectively, the Australian state has taken a stand on match-fixing and pooled the efforts of sportsbooks and regulators.

The five individuals to have been charged, aged between 20 and 27, now face up to 10 years in prison for collecting $30,000 in underhand betting winnings, in this case, the result of fixed matches on semi-professional CS:GO games.

With the crypto industry increasingly embracing esports betting in the face of a diminished sportsbook product, some have asked whether blockchain-powered sportsbooks are equipped to deal with the complexity of match-fixing in esports.

There is evidence to suggest that this is the case. WagerrSportsbet.io and Cloudbet are just some of the companies to have bravely ventured into the esports segment in recent years convinced they have a lot to bring to the table.

Boasting well-regarded, licensed products and transparent teams that actively work with regulators, these crypto sportsbooks have earned a strong reputation for legitimacy and fairness when it comes to their betting offerings.

In the case of the five charged fraudsters, police were tipped off by a betting agency which find discrepancies between the stakes and the risk profile of the game.

Australia has also inaugurated a new watchdog, the Sporting Integrity Agency, which will be charged with overseeing both regular sports, as well as esports. The watchdog’s new CEO, David Sharpe, comes from ASADA, Australia’s anti-doping regulator, and he is already familiar with the growing problems in esports betting.

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CGN senior journalist 

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