23 August 2019

Six people arrested re esports investigation

Detectives from the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit, along with detectives from the Organised Crime Intelligence Unit, have executed warrants at a number of properties this week in relation to an investigation into suspicious betting activity relating to an esports league. The investigation commenced in March 2019 after police received information from a betting agency about activity linked to a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament.

It’s alleged that players were arranging to throw matches and subsequently placing bets on those matches. It’s believed at least five matches were impacted and over 20 bets were put on the matches by Australian punters.

Warrants were executed at three residential properties, two in Mill Park and one in South Morang, on Wednesday 21 August. Two 20-year-old Mill Park men, a 22-year old Mill Park man and a 19-year-old South Morang man were arrested. A warrant was executed in Perth by WA Police, however no one was arrested.

Today, police executed a further two warrants at residential properties in Mount Eliza and two 20-year-old Mount Eliza men were arrested. All six have been interviewed in relation to the offences of engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of event or event contingency, or use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.

These offences carry up to 10 years imprisonment. They have since been released pending further enquiries and the investigation remains ongoing.

Detectives from the SIIU are also continuing to work with a number of betting agencies, including Sportsbet, in relation to this matter. Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson said this investigation involving the esports industry was one of the first of its kind by Victoria Police.

“Esports is really an emerging sporting industry and with that will come the demand for betting availability on the outcomes of tournaments and matches,” he said. “It’s important that police and other agencies within the law enforcement, gaming and betting industries continue to work together to target any suspicious activity. These warrants also highlight that police will take any reports of suspicious or criminal activity within esports seriously, and we encourage anyone with information to come forward.”

• This media release was issued by Victoria Police on 23 August 2019. Click here for the original.

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