Cover And Thumbnail Image Courtesy: Redbull
- Australian authorities charge five men with match-fixing offences.
- The five men face a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
- The accused stand trial for suspicious betting activity which took place last year in March.
- They will be facing court in September later this year.
Five men from Australia who had been suspected of match-fixing, face corruption charges in regards to the suspicious betting activities carried out by the individuals last year, in what is being called as the “first Australian criminal investigation into esports,” according to ABC Australia.
As per the detectives from the Australian Police Integrity Intelligence Unit, five men were charged last week with maximum penalties of up to 10 years of imprisonment, in regards to the match-fixing incident which took place in March last year, resulting in the accused winning as much as $30,000.
The incident revolved around suspicious betting activities being conducted by the accused, primarily focussed around the popular grassroots CS:GO tournament ESEA - Mountain Dew League 2019.
The investigation which had started last year with both, the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit along with the Organized Crime Intelligence Unit working together and leading to the arrest of six individuals between the ages of 20-27 years, has finally witnessed some development as five out of the six arrested have been charged with various offences as follows,
- A 20-year-old man from Melbourne has been charged with two counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome, two counts of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes and possessing cannabis.
- Three other 20-year-old men also from Melbourne have all been charged with three counts of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.
- A 27-year-old man from Victoria (east) has been charged with five counts of using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes.
All of the accused will be facing court in Melbourne and Sale in September later this year. This might be the first case globally which sees corrupt esports betting lead to severe punishments like serving time in jail. The Australian authorities were quick to react to a tip given to them by an esports betting agency and have pursued the case in a proper manner, instead of dismissing it as a casual incident.