Illegal betting on Premier League rife

By Tom Lewis
Nearly €1bn is gambled across the globe on every Premier League game, with the bulk of those bets being illicit, the head of a sports integrity watchdog has told AFP.

Chris Eaton, executive director of the Qatar-based International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), said “absolutely nothing is immune” from illegal betting, adding that huge sums could be placed on results, regardless of the teams involved.

Eaton estimated that up to 80% of the amount gambled on each Premier League fixture is done so illegally, with the “big money” made mostly through wagers on half-time and full-time scores.

The illegal betting occurs in countries, or administrative regions within countries, where sports gambling is outlawed.

There is no suggestion that bets made affect the outcome of any Premier League matches.

Speaking at a two-day joint UNESCO-ICSS conference in Doha, Eaton said that the illegal sports gambling market, fuelled primarily by organised crime gangs in Eastern Europe and Asian betting syndicates, is worth an annual $1.5 trillion.

Going on to speak about match-fixing, he said: “Sport will not survive ten more years of this.

“If governments don’t intervene in a collective, global and universal way on the issue of betting fraud-based match-fixing, then sport will continue to suffer significant credibility problems.

“Governments are not reacting.

“They are still looking for sport to cure its own problems or some miraculous silver bullet.”

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