Asian syndicates make millions from fixed football matches, claims former FIFA chief
FIFA’s former head of security claims organised crime rings are making hundred of millions of pounds a year on the outcome of fixed football matches.
Chris Eaton, who left FIFA in 2011, believes the Asian betting market is so sophisticated — and government regulation there so weak — that it is attractive for those wanting to manipulate games for profit.
Europol claimed this week that a Singapore-based syndicate had directed match-fixing for at least 380 games in Europe alone, making at least €8million (£6.9m).
Claim: Chris Eaton believes Asian syndicates are making millions
But Eaton, now director of Qatar’s International Centre for Sport Security, said: ‘It’s infinitesimal compared to what was made in the Asian market.You can probably multiply that by a hundred.
‘There’s no will to regulate gambling houses in South-East Asia. There’s a lack of commitment.
‘This is bigger than Coca-Cola, which is a trillion a year.This is a global economy, a growing global economy, and it needs to be regulated and supervised, and governments aren’t doing this.
‘It’s all done with algorithms and machines, http://iseta.edu.ar/aulavirtual/app/upload/users/1/1205/my_files/sbobet.html almost like any commodity house in the US or London. The three largest (gambling) houses each transact $2billion (around £1.28bn) a week.’
In the wake of the claims, FIFA has opened a website for whistleblowers to anonymously report corruption and match-fixing allegations.
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Eaton said the three largest gambling houses in Asia — IBCBET, SBOBET and 188BET — could be exploited by organised crime syndicates and that investigating betting — rather than focusing on sport itself — is key to eliminating corruption. He believes 70 per cent of gambling on sport in Italy is unregistered and often channelled through South-East Asia.
Eaton added: ‘Sport corruption is born of betting fraud — it’s a cycle.
‘If they focused on transparency in gambling houses in South-East Asia, being able to see who did what, when and how, this alone would have a major effect on addressing the issues of sport corruption.
‘You have under-regulated gambling where the regulators are not really serious, transparency rules are not to best practice and government oversight is almost non-existent.
‘It’s almost impossible to measure how they do business and what weaknesses they have that allow organised crime to take advantage of them.’