Match fixing in Europe is present on all levels on football.
“We used to believe by installing an early warning system we would eliminate the dangers of match fixing.” These are the words of Theo Zwanziger, former DFB President. It is well known in German gambling news that such installations haven’t slowed down the barrage of revenue made through match fixing. Nowadays, networks of smaller cartels work together in Europe to make money through sports betting.
• In Asian sports betting everything rests upon the turnover
• “Phantom matches” are matches scheduled by bookmakers that don’t exist
• Sports betting is a perfect tool for the laundering of money by criminals.
Companies, such as Sportsradar, are helping to collect data in order to look for any peculiarities associated with match fixing and illicit sports betting. With 40,000 matches a year are recorded and 6,000 gambling options per match are tabulated. As impressive as this may be, experts still admit that it is difficult to detect early these actions due to the fact that illegal sports betting often occurs while the games are playing live.
Asia is home for where the big money in sports betting is made
Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and Manila are places where larger bets are made and the rules are different. In Asia, betting output rests upon the turnover so it doesn’t matter if a team wins whether you’re sports betting in Malaysia or Macau. The turnover is the service charge taken for placing the bet. Since turnovers run into the billions, there’s more emphasis on them.
In Asia, all the wagers are made, every moment of the day and night, through a middle man called a betting agent. In Asia, betting agents can make bank account for anybody and deposit whatever amount they would like into it. There are many levels of agents and the top agents never know whose placing the wagers and their only job is to organize the money.
Agents don’t care about match fixing in a different continent since it’s outside the jurisdiction of Chinese gambling laws. If they are aware of a match that’s being fixed, they only want to guarantee they can take advantage of it. This may come in the form of swaying the odds towards a team that’s been fixed to lose and therefore using the info to draw more customers.
There are times thought that Asia’s over concern with turnover has negative effects. Betting agents and sportsbooks are sometimes notified of matches that don’t exist. These “phantom matches” are scheduled and given odds by bookmakers without knowledge of their validity. This is more popular with “friendly” matches that don’t require any authorization from FIFA so they don’t need to appear on their registries. In these matches, win or lose, bookmakers will take a loss of some kind.
Sports betting is the perfect tool for money laundering
Football matches can generate EURO 100 million in wagers. Very popular matches, such as the Champions League final, can generate up to EURO 1 billion in wagers. Online sports betting is the most popular source today for criminals when laundering money. With its difficulty in monitoring online activity, criminals can place bets without being traced.
Sports betting is a perfect tool for the laundering of money by criminals. “It brings money from drug smuggling, prostitution and illegal arms dealing directly into the legal economy” says organized crime investigator Jean-Francois Gayraud. He continues to say that losses for the criminals are an investment, because without betting they wouldn’t be able to use the money. Losses of 30-40% of their investment are fully acceptable to criminals if it gives them legal money.
Sports betting is also advantageous because it gives criminals betting odds in which they can better calculate their losses before placing bets. A very common practice is for a criminal to wager on matches that have similar odds for a win, lose or draw. Upon placing a large sum of money on wins, losses and draws, they can minimize their loss on the wager well within the confines of Italian, Chinese or German gambling laws. The only way to make more money is through match fixing.
The money from match fixing is just as large as from drug smuggling. Risk factor isn’t as high for match as in other high turnover crimes such as drug smuggling. A size of a person’s prosecution for drugs depends on the size of the shipment whereas a high amount of money can be made from a match fix with a lesser risk of a prolonged sentence.