Victorian Police today have issued a statement regarding a “first of its kind” series of arrests of Australian esports players who it will be alleged were involved in match fixing at an Australian CS:GO tournament.
Detectives from both the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit, and Organised Crime Intelligence Unit, executed warrants at a number of properties in relation to suspicious esports betting activity.
The investigation began in March this year after a betting agency tipped off police that players were arranging to throw matches which they were going to then place bets on.
At least five matches could have been affected, with over twenty bets placed by Aussie punters.
Warrants were executed by police in three residential properties on Wednesday where two 20 year old men, and a 22 year old man were arrested, followed by further warrants today where two 20 year old men were arrested.
A warrant was also executed in Perth, however no one was arrested.
All six people were interviewed in relation to offences of:
engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of event or event contingency
use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes
All people interviewed have since been released pending further inquiries.
Detectives are working with a number of betting agencies, including Sportsbet, who are assisting with their investigation. It’s a very serious matter, as it carries up to 10 years imprisonment if found guilty.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson commented on the matter being the first of its kind for Victorian 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,” he said.
“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.
“These warrants also highlight that police will take any reports of suspicious or criminal activity within esports seriously, and we encourage anyone with information to come forward.”