Esports betting bust

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TWO Mount Eliza men have been arrested and interviewed as part of an investigation into “suspicious betting activity” in an esports league, 23 August.

Police allege that video game players had been “arranging to throw matches and subsequently placing bets on those matches”. The matches were part of a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, a popular multiplayer first-person shooter video game. The Mount Eliza men were among six people arrested as part of the ongoing investigation. 

Police believe five matches were affected, with over 20 bets placed on those matches by Australian punters.

Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit detectives also arrested two 20-year-old Mill Park men, a 22-year-old Mill Park man, and a 19-year-old South Morang man as part of their investigation. All six men were later released pending further enquiries.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson said “this investigation involving the esports industry was one of the first of its kind by Victoria Police.”

“Esports is really an emerging sporting industry and with that will come the demand for betting availability on the outcomes of tournaments and matches. It’s important that police and other agencies within the law enforcement, gaming and betting industries continue to work together to target any suspicious activity,” he said.

The alleged offences carry a maximum prison sentence of up to ten years.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

First published in the Frankston Times – 26 August 2019

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