The growing number of “fixed” matches in Moldova is being addressed by the government, currently debating a law amendment.
Sports betting is totally legal in Moldova and is quite a popular pastime with the local population. There are dozens of local online sportsbooks in Moldova, as well as some foreign-based operations. Land-based betting is also very popular, with a long list of betting shops spread around the country.
The popularity of sports betting in Moldova has led to a huge spike in match-fixing activities, where certain matches have been influenced by criminal figures in order to cash in big on the sports wagers. Naturally, this didn’t go unnoticed on behalf of law enforcement agencies.
The country’s parliament has already passed a change to Moldavian gambling laws and criminal code, stipulating that all physical entities participating in match-fixing will be fined up to $2,000 and can face prison sentences of up to 3 years. Fines for legal entities participating or organizing fixed matches are reaching $3,000 and such organizations will be stripped of rights to conduct certain business for up to 3 years.
Possible further developments
Lawmakers didn’t stop there. Another law amendment with even heavier sanctions is currently being discussed in the parliament. Director of National Center for the Fight Against Corruption, Viorel Chetraru, shared some contents of the new law amendment with Moldavian gambling news.
According to Chetraru, the new proposal includes similar fines and sanctions for even remotely influencing the outcome of any sporting event in Moldova. This primarily refers to the owners of sport clubs and teams, sporting agents, or high-ranking officials in sports. The fines for match fixing for them can reach up to $5,000 and prison sentences for up to 5 years, not to mention subsequent bans from any sporting business activity.
If match-fixing is found to have been carried out by a group of people, or the damage is extremely high, the fines will range from $2,000 to $5,000 and prison sentences from 2 to 4 years. The same case for legal entities will mean up to $10,000 in fines and ban on commercial activity for up to 5 years.
It remains to be seen just how well the new measures will perform in the fight against match-fixing in Moldavian sport. It has been revealed that teams from almost every level from the amateur division to the country’s first league has participated in some form of match-fixing at a certain point of time.