A new deal will provide police with real-time information alerts from around the world to target suspicious betting activity and deter esports betting-related match-fixing.
The Regulation Letter was signed between Victoria Police and the esports integrity body Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) in February of this year.
It will allow Victoria Police’s Sports Integrity Intelligence Unit (SIIU) to receive real-time betting alerts on esports events from ESIC if any match shows suspicious betting activity, enabling detectives to initiate investigations as soon as possible when necessary.
ESIC is a non-profit organization whose members include government bodies, national esports federations and tournament operators from around the world.
The organization was founded in 2015 with the aim of disrupting, preventing and prosecuting all forms of cheating in esports, including match manipulation and doping.
Victoria Police’s SIUI conducted the first Australian law enforcement investigation into match fixing in esports in 2019.
The five individuals were charged with a number of offenses, including engaging in conduct that distorts or distorts a betting outcome and using corrupt information for betting purposes.
Offenses carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Victoria Police takes match fixing in e-sports as seriously as traditional sport.
The 2013 amendment to the Victorian Crimes Act introduced four criminal offenses directly related to spoiling the betting outcome of an event. These offenses do not specify the type of sporting event, but instead refer to the distortion of a betting outcome. Therefore, spoiling the betting result of an esports event is within the scope of the legislation.
Anyone with knowledge of illegal activities is advised to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or send a confidential crime report to: www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
Quotations attributable to Chris Gilbert, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Secret Support Command:
“Sports gambling and esports are global industries and their international aspect can make match fixing investigations extremely complex..
“This Letter of Agreement will enable ESIC to share real-time suspicious betting alerts with our detectives – particularly from offshore betting operators – allowing suspicious match-fixing investigations to begin almost immediately..
“Unfortunately, given the esports demographic, gamers could potentially be more vulnerable targets than players involved in traditional sports..
“These are often young adults who may be more susceptible to the corrupt approach of criminal organizations due to the minimal prize money and lack of focus on honesty and education from game developers..
“Victoria Police will continue to target potential criminals to infiltrate esports, including organized crime syndicates..
“Alongside this agreement with ESIC, we have developed strong relationships with a number of esports stakeholders and betting operators and will continue to work together to target any suspicious activity..
“It is important for people to understand that these are serious crimes with significant penalties, and we will take reports of suspicious activity seriously.”
Quotations attributable to Stephen Hanna, Global Strategy Director of the Esports Integrity Commission:
“Collaboration between law enforcement and the Esports Integrity Commission is essential to ensure a fair and safe environment for esports competitors and fans. We appreciate Victoria Police’s proactive and participatory approach to working with ESIC to prevent and deter match-fixing in esports..
“Esports is a global industry that requires a global response to maintain integrity. Working with law enforcement, such as the Victoria Police, we can better detect and investigate suspicious betting activity and protect the integrity of esports..
“This Letter of Agreement demonstrates that the Esports Integrity Commission and Victoria Police agree on the importance of preventing, preventing and prosecuting match fixing in esports. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Victoria Police and other law enforcement agencies around the world to protect the future of esports.”
Saturday, 01 July 2023