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Showing posts from June, 2011

Korean football faces shutdown over match-fixing

It's getting rather messy in South Korea, the imaginatively named K-League has been infested with match-fixing and now the government is getting involved.


K-League faces shutdown threat over match-fixing scandal

SEOUL, Jun 30 (Reuters) - South Korea's government has threatened to "shut down" the country's professional soccer league after losing patience with an embarrassing match-fixing scandal, which is in danger of spiralling out of control.

Clubs whose players are found guilty of being involved in match-fixing have been warned they face expulsion from Korea's domestic competition, local media reported on Thursday.

"If K-League players are caught trying to throw matches from this July, their teams will be forced out of the league," Park Sun-kyoo, Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism told South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

"We will also consider shutting down the K-League in the worst-case scenario."



I was quoted in an AFP arti…

around the traps

A lot to catch up on after my recent time away, here are some of the stories making the news:

The Australian Federal Government has promised a review of online gambling and might finally do away with the ridiculous ban on in-play betting online. But then again, they might not... Note the incorrect linking of Serie A matches with match-fixing for betting by the Australian Crime Commission.

Full Tilt Poker's licence has been suspended with immediate effect by Alderney regulators. Was it their decision or did the Yanks have a word in their ear?

Betfair are searching for a new CEO and analysts admit it is a "potential opportunity for improvement".

Financial results for Betfair show profits up but revenue down.

Punters are rallying against Betfair's decision to heftily increase the Premium Charge. Check out the Facebook group here.

Poland has signed in their draconian gambling legislation banning all firms without a local licence. As a result, some firms, including Ladbro…

Betfair to screw biggest winners for more cash

Once upon a time, Betfair's best marketing line was 'Winners Are Welcome'. Not any more. In a desperate move to show the shaer market they have more options to increase their revenues, Betfair's biggest winners will be hit with an even higher Premium Charge rate.

For full details, read here - Betfair Premium Charge Hike details

Realistically, how many people will it affect? A very small number. You've got to have done very well to win £250k after commission over the years. But what will it do to liquidity? Well, the people it will hurt are the elite level traders such as Mr Bet Angel. Peter Webb and the best of his genre. Traders lose infrequently, so thus are destined to pay less commission than your average winning punter. The big liquidity providers who market-make across the board will be hit - 40% commission on your gross profits is a stiff ask, you'd need some heavy losses mixed in there to sweeten them up.

This comes on top of their less-publicised effo…

Royal Ascot Saturday

Unlikely to have time to do any form today, focusing on the Wimbledon previews instead. Having a 2yo race 'for progeny of stallions who have won over at least 1m2f' to open the day doesn't inspire betting - why not just say 'for horses bound to end up jumping'? Crap race to include in a what is generally a fantastic week of racing.

Rain and the vagaries of the track make it prudent to bet late as the day unravels.

In the Golden Jubilee, I'll be looking at Hooray and Amico Fritz. As a son of Aussie super sire Redoute's Choice, I like Elzaam, but it has Richard Hills aboard. Might as well just add another 10lbs to its weight!

Hope Anne of Kiev goes well for Jeremy Gask in the Wokingham. The only mare in the race, she's a quality sprinter but this is tough.

Who knows in the last two races - don't rule out Life And Soul in the Duke of Edinburgh.

Royal Ascot - Friday

Got killed by the rain yesterday, changed plans considerably and consequently had a poor day. Ignored all the hype about Brown Panther which turned out to be more than justified. He looks a very good type!

Today is tough once again, but that's the beauty of the Royal meeting....

ALBANY STAKES

With Judy The Beauty out, the clear favourite is Teolane. She has won her last two starts well in Ireland but I'm not convinced of her brilliance. Prepared to take her on at the price.

The one I was most impressed with off the tapes was Inetrobil. Really nice turn of foot in a weak Redcar maiden. Highclere Thoroughbreds recognised the potential and bought into a share soon after. Ryan 2yos going well and Makin delivered a winner yesterday.

Hidden Passion might go around at a big price. She was heavily backed on debut but didn't get out of the gates, and then ran on well at Haydock next time. Could be more to come from her. (NON-RUNNER)

Ilaunglauss beat rubbish on debut at Lingfield, b…

Royal Ascot form - Thursday

Fantastic results on Wednesday with winners in the opening two races at 11/1 SP, with better prices available earlier or on Betfair. But absolutely gutted that So You Think was beaten, without even a penny on him. Awful tactics from Aiden O'Brien, employing a completely unnecessary pacemaker who then went too hard, got So You Think fired up and went for home on the turn. Backmakers need pacemakers, horses who sit up on the pace don't. I hate the concept of pacemakers with a passion, being able to determine the pace of a race sorts out the great jockeys from the good ones. There's nothing wrong at all with a horse like Dancing Rain winning the Oaks because her jockey did his homework and controlled the race from the front. Pacemakers do more harm than good. A great horse that needs everything served up on a plate for it isn't truly great....


NORFOLK STAKES

Tough race here, big field of 2yos with plenty of scope for improvement.

Bapak Chinta - won very easily at Hamilton…

Royal Ascot form - Wednesday

A nice start to the week with Sweet Sanette running well for a gallant third at 16/1. Had the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th horses for the trifecta which paid a few grand, unfortunately Prohibit spoiled the party!

JERSEY STAKES

Tricky race this. The favourite Codemaster is very good, if not a little green still. Definitely enjoyed the step up to 7f last start, but does wobble around a bit.

Fury drops back in trip after the Guineas and a run at Sandown where they walked for much of the race. Would rather be against him at the price.

Havane Smoker ran 2nd in the French 2000 Guineas but had every chance in that race. Does now have Soumillon aboard though.

Oracle has the AOB/Ryan Moore combination behind him. Ran 3rd in the Irish 2000 Guineas, was 25/1 that day and beat the fourth horse clearly. But he has won one race from nine starts, and funnily enough, his last race was his first in Group company. AOB may have finally found the key to him, but not for mine.

Western Aristocrat - very impressiv…

Royal Ascot form - Tuesday

Take this with a grain of salt as I've had a few shockers with my last big UK racedays (with mates at Cheltenham and Epsom), but hopefully there'll be some info in here worth noting.

QUEEN ANNE STAKES

Great match race between Canford Cliffs and Goldikova, don't see anyone else upstaging them. Goldikova has been there done that so many times, why would you oppose her? 13 Group 1s amongst her 16 wins - wow. The formline behind her was backed up today with Cirrus Des Aigles winning a G3 at Longchamp, beating Stacelita. Canford Cliffs is damn good though. Will sit back and watch.

KING'S STAND STAKES

Have been surprised how short Star Witness has traded over the past week or so - I just don't think he's that great. He won his first three starts, including the Blue Diamond, Melbourne's biggest 2yo race, but his only win since (in seven starts) was the Coolmore Stakes at Flemington last October. It was a G1 but I'm not that convinced how strong it was. 4/1 is …

tennis rort exposed on Challenger Tour

With thanks to ShankTennis for this article.....

The Romanian media picked this one up last week - an attempted sting at the Rijeka challenger event, but with plenty of matches involved.

Today, the company Advanced Betting System, Super Bet operator, was the victim of massive fraud attempts through the rigging of matches at the Challenger tournament in Rijeka (Croatia). Here are the details of this unpleasant event.

It goes on to claim the following:

A series of identical 12-leg parlays were placed at Super Bet outlets in Bucharest and Drobetu Turnu Severin.
The amount wagered was on each parlay was €1000, with a potential pay-out of €147, 000 on each.
Of the twelve legs, eleven were Challenger tennis matches with ten of those from Rijeka.
Of the tennis bets, all players either won in straight sets or lost via retirement (thus voiding those legs of the parlay).



It could be classed as an attempt to fix a series of matches, or alternatively, one big punter really having a big bet, but sp…

Greek licensing plan is just a tad ambitious

The basket case of the EU, Greece, has decided to move with the times and licence other gambling operators in the country in order to clear some of its monumental debts. Greeks are renowned for their love of betting but they've mostly had to do it through the local monopoly charging extortionate margins. But the government's attempt at coming up with a licensing regime is very ambitious in terms of the revenue it will bring in, and flawed in terms of how its regulations fit with EU law. Not only have they tried to block betting exchanges, but some of their other plans are just a wee bit extreme...

Betfair files complaint with EC over Greek draft law

Betfair has filed a complaint with the European Commission over the ban on betting exchanges contained within the Greek draft egaming law.

Martin Cruddace, Betfair’s chief legal and regulatory officer, said: “Having played a constructive role in the preparatory phase of the draft Greek gaming law, we were disappointed with the inclus…

How many fuckups is Paul Roy entitled to?

I'm sick of this bullshit of the 'age of forgiveness'. Not that long ago, people had honour - when they laid their cards on the table and screwed up royally, they packed their bags and left. These days it's like the Aussie cricket team - harder to leave than it is to get in, no matter how shit you are at what you do. Ricky Ponting was allowed to lose the Ashes three times before being forced to walk the plank as captain. If you can bullshit with the best of them, you've got a job for life apparently.

BHA Chief Exec Paul Roy has made at least three absolute blunders whilst at the helm which should have sent him to the dole queue a long time ago. But it seems he is impossible to sack and won't walk because he has less class than a Premier League footballer with a superinjunction.

Blunder 1 - in his other role as big cheese of an investment firm, he recommended buying a big chunk of shares in Betfair.

The fact he didn't notice they were massively overvalued is …

media and politicians love a beat-up

After a few attempted rorts in rugby league and a few plunges based on leaked team information, the major Australian sports, backed by a few clueless politicians and media desperate for a story, have proposed clampdowns on exotic bet types. Now we all hate match-fixing in sport, don't get me wrong there, but invariably these shenanigans are restricted to betting via illegal bookies, where there is no audit trail for investigators to pick up.

Legal betting outlets don't drop the ball very often. At the first sign of suspicious betting, alarm bells go off and word spreads like wildfire. The accounts in question are marked forever and the total exposure involved is usually only a few grand - less than they'll get out of the PR value of the ensuing story!


Andrew Twaits says tighter controls on online poker is necessary

*snipped*

Sportingbet Australia chief executive, Michael Sullivan, called yesterday on professional sports under the Coalition of Major Professional and Particip…

Fred wins the Tote sale

It wasn't much of a secret after rumours broke last night but BetFred have today been named as the successful bidder for the UK Tote. Traditionalists will have a bit of a moan but one bid was based on cold, hard cash; the other was based on a lot of hope which ultimately could have seen racing sink even further into the mire. It still puzzles me why people were so wholeheartedly in favour of a bid team which included the likes of Chris 'one race is fixed in Britain every day' Bell who had no problem with his former firm Ladbrokes operating its phone and online operations offshore to dodge tax and levy. Fred's no saint but he has to be admired for the empire he has built.

Betfred named new owners of the Tote

BOOKMAKERS Betfred have won the race to buy the Tote and on Friday morning signed a contract with the government to buy the state-owned betting operator for a total of £265 million.

Net proceeds will be £180m, which will be split 50-50 between the government and raci…

Match-fixing makes it into Korea

A source tipped me off about this several months ago. A major Asian betting monopoly would take certain Korean football matches off the board without making a big deal about them, knowing that they were likely to be fixed. Now the stories are breaking into the world press....


K-League's Pohang Steelers fire midfielder Kim amid widening match-fixing scandal

SEOUL, South Korea — The Pohang Steelers have fired midfielder Kim Jung-kyum for allegedly betting on one of his own games in a match-fixing scandal that is widening in South Korea.

The Yonhap news agency reported Thursday that the K-League club terminated Kim's contract because he allegedly bet on the outcome of one of the Steeler's matches two months ago.

Five players from different clubs have been arrested and charged with taking money from gambling brokers and allegedly making deliberate mistakes that led to their teams losing, according to domestic media.

Jeong Jong-kwan, a former K-League player, was found dead this…

Time for a new tack perhaps...

So once again England are ridiculed and isolated for making a stand against the self-righteous clowndom that is the Federation of International Football Associations. Pillars of the international anti-corruption community like Benin, Congo and Fiji yesterday stood up to reject the English FA's claims of corruption in FIFA. Of course, the representatives from these economic basket-case nations fly business class, live in mansions and drive Rolls-Royces because of their own individual business prowess rather than any untraceable cash which has fallen into their hands....



It's obvious continuing to complain and target FIFA with accusations and investigations isn't going to get anywhere. Blood is thicker than water, these guys work together to keep people they don't like on the outside and see themselves as above western ethical standards of business. So now it is time to try to a significantly different approach. Do things for the benefit of the sport, regardless of wheth…

Serie A rife with match-fixing and FIFA is still bent

Nothing new here, but glad to see the Italians are actually doing something about it!


Ex-Italy striker arrested for match-fixing

ROME (AFP) - Former Italy striker Giuseppe Signori was among 16 people arrested for match-fixing in a co-ordinated sting by Italian police on Wednesday.

Amongst those targeted were ex Serie A players and current players from both Serie B and Serie C as well as club directors from the lower leagues, all suspected of being part of an organisation that rigged games to fix bets.


Perhaps the tide will turn in Italy and this stuff might start disappearing, but I reckon we are still a long way from that. It's a cultural thing, just like the endemic levels of corruption within FIFA. It is an old boys' club where everything is about greasing palms.

Football is a dirty game run by dirty people. Its simplicity leads to its popularity and its popularity reels in the dodgy characters plaguing the game. The more we realise it is just one sport, rather than the only…