Match fixing is "an organised crime that takes no prisoners"

Match fixing is "an organised crime that takes no prisoners"

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The issue of match fixing will only get worse unless progress is made towards regulated betting infrastructures, according to an industry expert.

Jorn Starck, Executive Director of Alderney Gambling Control Commission delivered an update on ‘Integrity, match fixing and crime in sports betting’ at an ICE VOX BetMarkets session yesterday.

The channel island has 15 years’ experience as a world leader in regulating eGambling and has memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreements with leading authorities and regulators such as FIFA.

Starck said the island was active amongst international gaming regulators in the fight against match fixing and its own regulations were designed to protect players and prevent money laundering.

Starck said match fixing and fraud weren’t confined to online operations. “The problem isn’t a new one,” he explained. “Online gambling is cross border – it's a big, organised global activity. International sport is in serious trouble with match fixing, which is a facilitating crime for an even bigger crime, namely betting fraud. Match fixing is big business and financially lucrative. It has become the new game for organised crime internationally.”

Starck said that betting on sports matches was big business with US$2.8bn staked on a single major cricket test, more than US$1bn staked globally on a single English Premier League football match and US$95bn wagered on NFL and College football over a season.

He warned there were more than 3,600 international criminal organisations operating in the EU. "It’s a structured business that takes no prisoners," he said.

But Starck added that co-operation between global authorities such as law enforcement agencies, national financial intelligence units and betting regulators was starting to bear fruit. The UK Gambling Commission Sports Betting Intelligence Unit was set up seven years ago and the European Sports Security Association (ESSA) was set up with funding from the EU and Council of Europe.

Starck said it was in everyone’s interest to increase awareness, information sharing and further regulations within the gambling industry for improved monitoring. He said betting operators were in the frontline when it came to uncovering criminal activities. “Betting operators are best placed to detect suspicious activity. Most betting operators have shown they are very well disposed to allocating resources, sharing data, setting up channels and co-operating. Co-operation is key, as is raising the profile of the issue in the media to keep up the visibility and lessen the likelihood that criminals will be attracted to sports and betting.”

He warned betting operators that they would have to be ultra vigilant as match fixers were becoming “more and more sophisticated with more tools at their disposal. Without the support of the organisations this problem will spread.”