Gambling on football is worth a huge and growing global industry, billions of pounds a year.
While a fighter has been with the bookies, it has long been associated with horse racing, the growth of online betting could see the football challenge that position in Britain.
Betting on football, however, is now a global phenomenon with much of the trade on illegal markets in Asia, where the huge amounts wagered bring the threat of competition.
Here we look at the increase in bets, the risks of corruption and the history of cheating in sports.
How much is the sports contest industry worth?
“Current estimates, including both the illegal markets and the legal markets, suggest that the sports industry is worth between $ 700 billion and $ 1tn (£ 435 billion to £ 625 billion) a year,” said Darren Small, Director of Integrity. Betting and sports data analysts Sport radar.
About 70% of the trade is estimated from trade on football.
Sportradar has contracts to check bets at around 55,000 matches a year, with algorithms covering 350 global bookmakers to discover suspicious bets. Concerns are increased by about 1% of the monitored devices.
“It does not sound much, but there are still 500 or so match games that are potentially resolved and we may talk millions of pounds in sales on these games that are going through criminal activities,” says Small.
International Criminal Investigation Institute Interpol says Operation Soga has carried out more than 2,300 raids about global features in the context of the battle to disrupt the match fixers.
It took a total of $ 27.8 million (€ 16.8 million) and closed illegal gambling gates worth more than $ 2 billion (£ 1.2 billion).
Where are people betting?
Although bets in Asia are usually limited to a limited range, options in Europe are far more than traditional, simple choices to win, lose or draw.
Licensed bookies offer more than 200 different markets on competitions around the world.
You can bet on the first and last goals, the correct score, the half score, the number of goals, whether there is a shipment, a trick, a penalty or a number of angles.
Some markets are time-specific – it may be a chance, for example, of a goal, card, corner or penalty in the first five minutes of the match.
Is betting on football a new phenomenon?
The football pools started this year 90 years ago. Within a few months, hundreds of thousands of fans filled weekly coupons, trying to predict Saturday afternoon results in hopes of winning prize money.
In 1961, Viv Nicholson, a factory worker from Castleford, won a £ 152,000 jackpot, nowadays almost 5 million pounds.
Over £ 3.2 billion in profits has paid 61 million people over the years and over 500,000 people still play the pools every week.
What has changed in recent years?
The growth of internet and mobile devices with fast access to opportunities has generally made the effort much more accessible.
Satellite TV channels and the increase in coverage of live football matches around the world has increased interest and opportunity.
With it’s widespread use of “in-run” bets, where punters can put money for the action as it happens. For example, who scores the next goal, with the chance of fluctuating motion patterns.
Online football betting has grown since it became important for the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
What are illegal bets?
There is a ban on sports betting in some countries, while elsewhere illegal betting syndicates offer better opportunities, making potential profit more attractive.
Laws vary in different countries. For example, in Singapore, it is legally a bet on a football match in a “pool shop”, but online sports betting is prohibited.
Apart from the match fixing concerns, there are other financial issues related to illegal bets, including non-billed transactions, and costing governments hundreds of millions in lost taxes, while also damaging the profits of legal bookmakers.
Gamblers take their own risks. With no records of betting, the scheme is based on mutual trust.
Is a soccer match a new problem?
Incidents involving British footballers are relatively isolated, although betting scandals go back to 1915, when seven players were banned after Manchester United, Liverpool beat 2-0 in a match at Old Trafford, where visitors missed a penalty.
An investigation was launched after complaints from bookmakers after a run of bets on the right score, with a goal in each half.
Almost 50 years later, eight players were captured for crimes that had match confirmation, including Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat by Ipswich in 1964.
A series of floodlight mistakes influenced the top-flight English matches in 1997 and later a businessman found himself condemned to participate in an Asian betting scam.
The fraudster who had left the Chinese Triad underworld was found guilty of plotting a Charlton-Liverpool game.
Two previous games – West Ham against Crystal Palace and Wimbledon against Arsenal – saw the spotlight fail when scores were right, a result favorable to a West East betting syndicate but cases of match fixing in Britain are relatively rare .
In 2006, Italian sides Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio were sentenced for their involvement in a contest scandal – even after juvenile juve was actually abolished.
Earlier this year, 58 Chinese football officials received contestants and last month, the police arrested Singapore. 14 people said they were part of a criminal gang involved in the global football match.
There have also been cases of fraud in Malaysia and South Korea, while last month six people – including four Britons – have been associated with betting related corruption in Australia.
What are the authorities doing to tackle match-fixing
In February of this year, the European Union law enforcement agency Europol said that it has investigated the determination of 680 games around the world – in Europe, Asia and South America.
A Europol statement states that conspiracy has arisen in Asia and that there are at least 425 people involved – including contestants, club officials, players and members of organized criminal gangs.
It also said that in only German matches only criminals used £ 13.8 million (16 million euros) on rough matches and made £ 6.9 million.
Three months later, Michel Platini, chairman of UEFA European Parliament, called for the creation of a European sports police to deal with match confirmation, hooliganism and doping – something he proposed for the first time in 2007.
He also asked that if a continental police officer was not possible, individual countries could legislate to punish those who were guilty of corruption.
In the meantime, Interpol and FIFA Football Management announced a joint 10-year initiative in 2011 to inform people about the risks of workshops, conferences and online tutorials.
Fifpro, the world-wide professional football club last year, did not launch a prevention and training program aimed at raising the dangers of match fixing and reducing conditions that cause it to occur.
Dr Andy Harvey of Birkbeck, University of London, researches the Do not Fix It program. He said: “In many cases, the players are the victim of match-fixing rather than just the perpetrators.
“The main initiators of these are, as in the past in Italy, when clubs have been infiltrated by criminal gangs, as happened in Eastern European countries, or where players were taken by criminal gangs.
“This happens often because the players are vulnerable. The European agencies, especially Uefa, have to deal with government departments at national level and ensure that clubs are owned by appropriate and good people.”
How difficult is it to solve a soccer match?
With 22 players on the field, deputies and managers, it seems on the surface that there should be more people in the scam.
However, mistakes in key positions can sometimes be enough to land a bet.
Reckless approaches that lead to punishments, inadequate goal achievement or intentional goals are noted in suspicious matches.
The referees can also be targeted, as demonstrated by the FIFA ban, dealing with the following matches between Latvia and Bolivia, and Estonia and Bulgaria in 2011.
The games, which took place as a double head in Turkey and attracted only about 100 spectators, produced seven goals – all scored from penalties.