Developments on current investigations into match-fixing in international tennis had been reported. The spokesman for the board of the gaming operator Interwetten has now spoken. Dominik Beier feels that the discussion has wrongly cast a bad light on the industry.
135 tennis players involved in match-fixing
According to joint research, an investigation into a current betting scandal is about to be concluded. At least 135 tennis players around the world are said to have been involved in match-fixing.
The Belgian public prosecutor is in charge of the internationally coordinated prosecution. According to their information, the Armenian betting mafia is said to have operated a highly intelligent network in seven European countries for years.
Specifically, it is about the suspicion, which has already been confirmed several times, that tennis players have manipulated matches in exchange for cash payments by deliberately losing them. By betting a hundredfold, the syndicates were able to generate tens of thousands of euros for each game bought.
A curse for the betting industry
While online casinos like xe88 are facing their own issues of betting fraus, sports betting is having huge issues in terms of match-fixing. This is a curse for the entire betting industry.
For the online bookmaker Interwetten, every message about betting manipulation is “also a curse”. This is what board spokesman Dominik Beier explained in an interview with the Austrian online portal.
Although his company has not found any irregularities in the betting activity in the current case, the bookmakers are generally also to be regarded as victims of manipulation in sports.
However, Beier considers attempts to dry up the swamp of match-fixing in tennis by a general betting ban to be counterproductive:
There could certainly be a place somewhere. Any time an accredited provider is restricted from accomplishing this, a shady service provider will provide you with it. And unlawful data transmission is fairly convenient in the current digital environment. You need to maintain the offer as appealing as is possible and route it into the legally accepted market. This had been a challenge in the gambling industry (sports betting included) whenever there is a restriction in place – mainly because when that happens black market comes in. And this is hardly ever controlled.
Instead, the Interwetten spokesman calls for better cooperation between all serious players in tennis. He sees the associations in particular as having an obligation to take financial responsibility for players who are economically poorly positioned.
Solidarity payments could be one way of doing this: A top earner like Roger Federer could probably get over it, for example, earning 200,000 euros less a year. This money, according to Beier’s approach, could then be shared among players who would find it difficult to “bear” their costs “on their own”.
Syndicates take advantage of emergencies
The German tennis player Andrea Petković also sees one of the main reasons for the success of organized crime in tennis is the precarious conditions under which the lion’s share of players practice the sport.
Of course, according to the six-time WTA individual winner in an interview with ZDF, she had also been approached by this so-called betting mafia.
Often players are approached who are dependent on money because they cannot afford to travel to tournaments on their own.
Double standards of associations?
For Interwetten representative Beier, the way the associations deal with the problem shows a double standard: On the one hand, sport is also largely financed by the advertising money of betting providers. At the same time, hardly any of this income would reach players in the lower leagues or smaller tournament organizers. To make matters worse, the associations refused to talk to the bookmakers.
According to Beier, tennis lacks an overall strategy. He advocates a holistic approach in the fight against match-fixing. In his opinion, the associations should sit down at the table with players, betting providers, industry suppliers, and the media in order to develop a workable concept for the years to come.
Spontaneous bans in response to betting scandals are in any case no more than quick fixes and thus the wrong reaction to the current challenges.