Friday, 29 July 2011

Trending hits the track

A big day for Social Media Racing and more specifically, the Twitterati, as this syndicate is known. The world's first racehorse ownership syndicate put together on Twitter makes his debut tonight at Beth in the 5.05.

Trending is his name, I'm one of the 60 part-owners involved and will be hoping for a promising start to his career. Unfortunately it's a chaotic time at work at the moment (hence lack of posting lately) so being on course to be part of the action will have to wait until one of his later starts. Jeremy Gask landed a winner last night at Ffos Las, let's hope the form continues....


Saturday, 23 July 2011

US-facing sportsbook range is fast diminishing

We've heard about poker sites being targetted by the US Dept of Justice - sportsbooks are fearing the same attention. One of the biggest, The Greek (formerly called Olympic), has decided to stop taking bets from US residents effective immediately. They avoided the attention when Pinnacle stopped taking US bets several years ago, now they feel time is right to distance themselves from the US totally. US players are being transferred over to Heritage Sports.

Another book under the same ownership, BetJamaica, has closed its door entirely. All accounts transferred to The Greek, with the US accts then transferred to Heritage.

See this thread on Covers.com for details. They won't be the last sportsbook to make/be forced into this decision.


Saturday, 16 July 2011

AFL sets the standard on player betting investigations

Australian football has become the benchmark for sporting bodies policing betting by players. Integrity agreements with betting firms allow them to monitor betting activity, particularly when it comes to names on their special list. Of course, it is never going to stop it completely if the players have half a brain (read further to see how clueless some of them are), but it gives the league great power to detect and investigate suspicious betting activity.

Heath Shaw suspended for eight weeks for betting on Collingwood game

SHAMED Collingwood premiership stars Heath Shaw and Nick Maxwell have expressed regret over a betting scandal that has rocked the AFL ladder leader.

The pair copped heavy punishments for breaking the AFL's strict anti-gambling rules after an investigation found they shared inside information with friends and family.

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The betting scam involved the information that Maxwell was to play in the forward line against Adelaide and not in his usual backline position.

Shaw, who was betting at a TAB on the day before the match, passed the information to his friend and gave him $10 to bet on Maxwell to kick the first goal at 100-1.

His friend added his own $10 to the bet, and placed other bets, with another friend, totalling $15.

Maxwell told his family he would start in the forward line. This information was used by his brother and his wife's mother to place bets totalling $85.

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AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson said an "extensive investigation" uncovered the betting offences.

"As a result of our routine checks and liaison with bookmakers, we became aware there had been a plunge on Nick Maxwell and he had come in from 100-1 to 25-1," he said.

"As a result of the information-sharing agreements and the power of investigation, our investigators were able to follow the money trail.

"It's very important to note that nothing that any player has done here has been with the intent to influence any outcome within the contest."

A Tabcorp source said the betting giant helped the AFL investigation with information that included CCTV footage of Shaw at the TAB when the bets were placed.



In reality, it was all fairly innocent, but Shaw being on camera demonstrates that some of thee blokes aren't too bright. Since then, the wowsers have come out calling for a ban on exotic bets on games - an argument which was dismissed out of hand by league officials - a rare bunch of sporting officials who actually understand the gambling business.

League won't ban exotic bets

THE AFL would be courting "a disaster" if it banned exotic bets such as the punts that plunged Collingwood into a firestorm this week.

General manager football operations Adrian Anderson said the AFL had considered banning exotic bets - such as who kicks the first goal of a match - but added: "It would be a disaster. It would push betting underground".



Of course, any betting integrity arrangement is only as strong as its weakest link, which is usually cash wagering. But if players want to show their faces, or people want to have abnormally large cash bets under a CCTV camera, then the task of investigating is easier than it should be.

Cash punters real test in Dumb & Dumber sequel

IT seemed such a slick operation at first glance. The full force of the AFL integrity department stalked the money trail and was able to draw to a conclusion a three-month forensic investigation of extraordinary meticulousness.

The AFL's general manager of football operations, Adrian Anderson, said his team had hunted down the money droppings Hansel and Gretel-like, talked to suspects and associates, perhaps even lay in wait, camouflaged and hidden, luring their suspects to a grisly end.

Then the final piece, so intricately traced, fell into place. Heath Shaw was so bloody dumb he was in the TAB when his mate placed the bet on his behalf.



Sporting bodies around the world would love to have as much transparency as the AFL with wagering.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Where's the diplomatic immunity?

London papers regularly run stories of many crimes in the city being simply ignored because they are committed by foreign diplomats, often far more serious than shoplifting or a traffic infringement. So I'm surprised there hasn't been an attempt to wipe this gambling debt under similar outdated protocol...

Sheikh loses Bahraini palace to bookmaker Spreadex after racking up gambling debts

Bookmaker Spreadex is in line to receive a share in a Bahraini palace part-owned by royal family member Sheikh Hamad Al Khalifa after he racked up a quarter of a million pounds in gambling debts.



And I thought the Arabs weren't allowed to gamble...

Monday, 11 July 2011

the answer to match-fixing in Korea - double the minimum salary...

... and bring in a lie detector. Well, it's a start at least, but the problem goes much deeper than that. If players are disenchanted with their clubs or the wrong type of people are involved with the club, then their heads can easily be turned. The new rules need to encourage whistle-blowers, to keep the wrong people out of the locker rooms, provide players with a long-term future in the sport rather than making them survive on a low base wage and to see the K-League share information with the betting firms. Simply removing the option to bet locally, only makes it easier for match-fixers. Every bet then goes via illegal channels, mostly outside South Korea, and without any chance of tracing it.

Regulation and establishing an audit trail is the best way forward.....


K-League ups base salary after match-fixing stain

The top local professional football league said Monday it will improve the welfare of its players and hand out severe punishments for corruption in response to a recent match-fixing scandal.

As part of restructuring measures, the K-League said it will raise players’ minimum salary and that clubs whose players are involved in match rigging will suffer tough penalties.

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“We will introduce a pension plan for players and strive to improve rights and welfare for players,” the league said in a statement. “The minimum wage will be doubled from the current 12 million won ($11,350) to 24 million won starting next year.”

The indicted players included some high-profile names, but most of them were little-known, middling players with low salaries. Investigators have said these players might have been more tempted to take a lump sum of cash from brokers to engage in match-fixing schemes. Some players allegedly took or were offered more money than their annual salary.

The league said it will continue to work with related agencies to establish cooperative relations with FIFA and Interpol. To prevent further match fixing, the K-League will also adopt a polygraph testing system, currently in use in the Singaporean league, on those suspected of match fixing.

Friday, 8 July 2011

football corruption in a land of corruption - and they are surprised?

This is utterly ridiculous. In a land where opponents of the self-appointed President simply disappear off the streets, and the police regularly get a slice off proceedings from armed robberies, the head muppet of FIFA has joined with Robert Mugabe in declaring match-fixing to be evil and that all people found to be involved in football corruption will be banned for life.


FIFA Join Hands With Interpol On Match Fixing Investigations: Blatter


Harare, July 05, 2011 - FIFA president, Sepp Blatter has hinted on a possible life ban on all those implicated in match-fixing scandals in Zimbabwe if found guilty.

“We will ban all those involved in shady deals in this country if they are found guilty. This is a country that has talent which no administrator would want to see going to waste. You have work to develop that talent and not to kill it through things such as match-fixing,” Blatter told administrators during a press conference organized for him by Zifa.

The press conference was held after he toured the Zifa Village in Mount Hampden, visited President Robert Mugabe at State House and Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai in the capital.

Blatter told the gathering that FIFA would not hesitate to punish those involved in shady deals in Zimbabwean football including match fixing.

“We have instruments in place that we can use to deal with those elements that are fond of bad behaviour in football. These instruments are there and they shall be used against all those found on the wrong side of the law,” he said.



A corrupt man meets another corrupt man then declares that every other corrupt person in the country who isn't as good as covering their tracks as they are, or as above the law as they are, will be severely punished.

The sums of money needed to fix a game of football in Zimbabwe might just buy a round of drinks in London. Is it any wonder that footballers battling to earn a living in a society full of corruption have little fear of breaking these rules?

and you thought match-fixing was about big bucks...

You would be wrong. There are all sorts of reasons why players would agree to throw a match, or part of a match. If you go back to the famous 1919 Chicago Blacksox baseball scandal, the players involved agreed to throw the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds because they felt they were grossly underpaid by the team owner. The opportunity was there, and in came the underworld connection who liked a bet.

The name Wilson Raj Perumal is infamous in match-fixing circles and if you google search him, you'll find people blaming his ego for getting caught. He borrowed money from people to start fixing matches, didn't pay them all back despite having a lavish lifestyle and posting photos on Facebook of him travelling the world... people he owed money to naturally started getting a bit pissed off.

In this article, you'll read a story of how one low-level cup match in Malaysia was thrown for as little as RM200 (£42) each to six players, from an accomplice of Raj Perumal. The cost of living in Malaysia is low, but it's not that low. It's more than just money - it's a cultural thing too. Different cultures don't have the same rule of law system that we do in the supposedly superior western world. Corruption is a part of life in most parts of the world. You only have to look at FIFA and how bent they are to see that.

So why should players have any higher moral standards than Sepp Blatter or Jack Warner???


Monday, 4 July 2011

Greek and Turkish football in crisis

UEFA's anti-corruption team has been busy, handing over vast amounts of evidence to the Greek and Turkish prosecutors over local match-fixing.

Police announce arrests in Greek match-fixing probe


Turkish football in crisis after match-fixing investigation


Until big names and big clubs are brought down in these cases, it will continue on. Perhaps that won't even stop it - it hasn't stopped dodgy late-season results in Italy, but the Juventus scandal wasn't over betting, just presidential egos and putting pressure on referees...

And there's plenty more on the story from Declan Hill

70,000 Copies of the ‘The Fix’ and the Prosecutor Who is Cleaning the Stables