Olivia R. May 3, 2020
The first match-fixing case in Australian esports has led to some serious consequences. Five men between 20 and 27 years old are facing charges that carry maximum penalties of up to 10 years in jail. The charges stem from allegations of winning $30,000 by betting on fixed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive matches last March.
In August, the Victorian police issued a statement on the matter, noting that a betting agency had tipped off officers about players who were "arranging to throw" five matches during the Mountain Dew League in order to benefit from bets they'd placed.
A 20-year-old from Mill Park in Melbourne has been charged with two counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome, along with two counts of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes. He was also charged with the possession of cannabis. Two other 20-year-old players from the same area, along with a 20-year-old from South Morang, were charged with three counts of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes. The fifth man is a 27-year-old from Sale, who was charged with a whopping five counts of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.
All five men will face court in Melbourne and Sale in September.
A sixth man was arrested in August 2019, but it's unclear why they were not charged with anything at this time. No names were released.
CSGO match fixing is a serious crime
According to the original reporting, all five of the players involved in the match fixing had gone to the same high school and university. They were all from "normal suburban Melbourne families" and had no prior wrongdoing on their records.
"We've got young men, typically 19 or 20-year-olds, who have no history with police," assistant commisioner Neil Paterson stated. "They're getting involved in [corruption] offenses at quite a young age that have serious consequences for them."
For Paterson, the number of young men involved in esports gambling, and gambling in general, has been a problem. He noted that he feels nothing is really being done to crack down on this spreading problem with young men in the area.